HER-2 expression is not prognostic in osteosarcoma; a Children's Oncology Group prospective biology study

Sarah Gorlick, Donald A. Barkauskas, Mark Krailo, Sajida Piperdi, Rebecca Sowers, Jonathan Gill, David Geller, R. Lor Randall, Katherine Janeway, Cindy Schwartz, Holcombe Grier, Paul A. Meyers, Richard Gorlick, Mark Bernstein, Neyssa Marina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Since the initial reports of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) expression as being prognostic in osteosarcoma, numerous small studies varying in the interpretation of the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining patterns have produced conflicting results. The Children's Oncology Group therefore embarked on a prospective biology study in a larger sample of patients to define in osteosarcoma the prognostic value of HER-2 expression using the methodology employed in the initial North American study describing an association between HER-2 expression and outcome. Procedure: The analytic patient population was comprised of 149 patients with newly diagnosed osteosarcoma, 135 with localized disease and 14 with metastatic disease, all of whom had follow up clinical data. Paraffin embedded material from the diagnostic biopsy was stained with CB11 antibody and scored by two independent observers. Correlation of HER-2 IHC score and demographic variables was analyzed using a Fisher's exact test and correlation with survival using a Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: No association was found with HER-2 status and any of the demographic variables tested including the presence or absence of metastatic disease at diagnosis. No association was found between HER-2 status and either event free survival or overall survival in the patients with localized disease. Conclusion: HER-2 expression is not prognostic in osteosarcoma in the context of this large prospective study. HER-2 expression cannot be used as a basis for stratification of therapy. Identification of potential prognostic factors should occur in the context of large multi-institutional biology studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1564
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Her-2
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Osteosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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