Background: Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the 3rd most common cause of cancer related mortality worldwide. Gastric carcinoma contributes to 10% of cancer deaths worldwide with a case fatality ratio of 70%. Despite recent advances in cancer treatment, the overall 5-year survival for patients with newly diagnosed gastric cancer is 28%. Objective: To study the HER-2/neu expression in gastric carcinoma patients in a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods: The present study is a retrospective and prospective study done to assess HER2/neu protein over expression in gastric carcinomas. Excision specimens of patients with gastric carcinoma who underwent surgery were obtained from cancer hospital and research institute were included in the time bound study.
Results: 50 Gastrectomies were included in this study. The histological features correlated with HER2/neu overexpression. The youngest patient was 38 years old and the oldest was 74 years. The mean age of the patients was 57.68 years. All the cases were adenocarcinomas. Most of the tumors, i.e., 35 cases were of intestinal type of adenocarcinomas, whereas 15 cases were of diffuse type.
Conclusion: Our study found HER2/neu over expression of 10.0% in gastric cancers similar to most studies in India and the rest of the world. Additional research is required to explore role of HER2/neu as an independent prognostic factor and to confirm any existing geographic variation. It is important that pathologists and diagnostic laboratories learn and use the modified criteria for evaluating HER2/neu status in gastric /GEJ carcinomas. Large number of new specimens will need to be examined for HER2/neu status using both FISH and IHC in the days to come as trastuzumab has now been validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for management of metastatic gastric adenocarcinomas.