HER2/neu Expression in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients is not Significantly Elevated

  • Sardari, Yasaman ;
  • Pardis, Soheil ;
  • Tadbir, Azadeh Andisheh ;
  • Ashraf, Mohammad Javad ;
  • Fattahi, Mohammad Javad ;
  • Ebrahimi, Hooman ;
  • Purshahidi, Sara ;
  • Khademi, Bijan ;
  • Hamzavi, Marzieh
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Background: HER2/neu, a member of EGFR family, is over expressed in some tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine the salivary level and tissue expression of HER2/neu in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and any correlation with clinicopathologic parameters. Methods: An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to evaluate the salivary level and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to assess tissue expression of HER2/neu in 28 patients with HNSCC and 25 healthy controls. Results: The salivary levels of HER2/neu in HNSCC patients was not significantly higher than in the healthy controls (p>0.005). There was no apparent correlation in salivary HER2/neu level with clinicopathological features such as age, sex, grade, tumor size and nodal status. All HNSCC specimens were positive (membranous or/and cytoplasmic) for HER2/neu, except one sample. Only one HNSCC specimen was stained in cytoplasm purely. All control specimens were membranous and cytoplasmic positive for HER2/neu. There was a significant difference between cytoplasmic staining in case and control groups (p-value<0.05). Conclusion: In our cases, no overexpression of HER2/neu was observed. Thus, our findings suggested that the use of Her-2 as a salivary marker of HNSCC cannot be recommended.


HER2/neu;salivary level;tissue expression;head and neck squamous cell carcinoma


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