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Sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 185 primary breast carcinomas were stained immunohistochemically using a polyclonal antibody against the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein. Positive staining, which is known to correlate with gene amplification, was associated with earlier relapse, shorter postrelapse survival, and shorter overall survival. Lymph node, epidermal growth factor receptor, and estrogen receptor status, tumor size, and histological grade also had prognostic significance but, applying multivariate analysis, only lymph node status was a more important predictor of relapse-free and overall survival than staining for the oncoprotein. Positive staining was correlated with negative estrogen receptor status and high histological grade, but there was no association with either lymph node or epidermal growth factor receptor status or tumor size. Expression of the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein appears to be an important independent indicator of prognosis in human breast cancer.


Journal article


Cancer research

Publication Date





2087 - 2090


Department of Pathology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, London, England.


Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Receptor, erbB-2, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Receptors, Estrogen, Prognosis, Immunohistochemistry, Analysis of Variance, Gene Amplification, Female, ErbB Receptors