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ERBB2 amplification is associated with tamoxifen resistance in steroid-receptor positive breast cancer

  • Åke Borg
  • Bo Baldetorp
  • Mårten Fernö
  • Dick Killander
  • Håkan Olsson
  • Stefan Ryden
  • Helgi Sigurdsson
Publishing year: 1994
Language: English
Pages: 137-144
Publication/Series: Cancer Letters
Volume: 81
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Amplification and overexpression of the ERBB2 (HER-2/neu) oncogene has been implicated as contributing to the development of human breast cancer, and as a predictor of poor survival. In the present non-randomized study of 871 primary invasive breast tumours, ERBB2 activation was significantly correlated to a shorter disease-free and overall survival in the subgroup of patients receiving adjuvant tamoxifen therapy, but not in the untreated group. Further subcategorization demonstrated the relationship to poor prognosis to be confined to lymph node positive and steroid receptor-positive tumours. We suggest that steroid receptor and ERBB2-positive breast tumours are resistant to tamoxifen therapy and, supported by experimental evidence showing an oestrogen receptor dependent up-regulation of ERBB2 expression upon tamoxifen administration, possibly even growth stimulated by the drug.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • ERBB2
  • HER-2/neu
  • Gene amplification
  • Breast cancer
  • Adjuvant tamoxifen
  • Therapy resistance


  • ISSN: 1872-7980
Åke Borg
Åke Borg
E-mail: ake [dot] borg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Oncology and Pathology, MV

+46 46 275 25 52

MV 404 C21B2


Project manager

Familial Breast Cancer



Oncology and Pathology, MV

MV 404 C21C2