The prognostic value of Her4 receptor isoform expression in triple-negative and Her2 positive breast cancer patients
1 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Medical Center, Caritas Hospital St. Josef, University of Regensburg, Landshuter Strasse 65, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
2 Center for Clinical Studies, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
BMC Cancer 2013, 13:437 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-437Published: 24 September 2013
Not only four but rather seven different
We quantified the Her4 variants JM-a/CYT1, JM-a/CYT2, JM-b/CYT1, and JM-b/CYT2 by isoform-specific polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in (i) triple-negative, (ii) Her2 positive breast cancer tissues and (iii) in benign breast tissues.
In all three tissue collectives we never found the JM-b/CYT1 or the JM-b/CYT2 isoform expressed. In contrast, the two JM-a/CYT1 and JM-a/CYT2 isoforms were always simultaneously expressed but at different ratios. We identified a positive prognostic impact on overall survival (OS) in triple-negative and event-free survival (EFS) in Her2 positive patients. This finding is independent of the absolute JM-a/CYT1 to JM-a/CYT2 expression ratio. In Her2 positive patients, Her4 expression only has a favorable effect in estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive but not in ER-negative individuals.
In summary, JM-a/CYT1 and JM-a/CYT2 but not JM-b isoforms of the Her4 receptor are simultaneously expressed in both triple-negative and Her2 positive breast cancer tissues. Although different expression ratios of the two JM-a isoforms did not reveal any additional information, Her4 expression basically indicates a prolonged EFS and OFS. An extended expression analysis that takes all Her receptor homologs, including the Her4 isoforms, into account might render more precisely the molecular diagnostics required for the development of optimized targeted therapies.