HER-2 inhibition in gastric and colorectal cancers: tangible achievements, novel acquisitions and future perspectives

Valentina Fanotto, Elena Ongaro, Karim Rihawi, Antonio Avallone, Nicola Silvestris, Lorenzo Fornaro, Enrico Vasile, Lorenzo Antonuzzo, Francesco Leone, Gerardo Rosati, Francesco Giuliani, Roberto Bordonaro, Mario Scartozzi, Giovanna De Maglio, Francesca V. Negri, Gianpiero Fasola and Giuseppe Aprile _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:69060-69074. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11264

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Valentina Fanotto1,*, Elena Ongaro1,*, Karim Rihawi2, Antonio Avallone3, Nicola Silvestris4, Lorenzo Fornaro5, Enrico Vasile5, Lorenzo Antonuzzo6, Francesco Leone7, Gerardo Rosati8, Francesco Giuliani4, Roberto Bordonaro9, Mario Scartozzi10, Giovanna De Maglio11, Francesca V. Negri12, Gianpiero Fasola1 and Giuseppe Aprile1

1 Department of Oncology, University and General Hospital, Udine, Italy

2 Department of Oncology, S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy

3 Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Unit, National Cancer Institute “Fondazione Giovanni Pascale”-IRCCS, Napoli, Italy

4 Department of Oncology, National CancerInstitute “Giovanni Paolo II”-IRCSS, Bari, Italy

5 Unit of Oncology 2, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy

6 Department of Oncology, Careggi Hospital, Firenze, Italy

7 Department of Medical Oncology, University of Torino, Candiolo Cancer Institute-FPO-IRCCS, Torino, Italy

8 Medical Oncology Unit, San Carlo Hospital, Potenza, Italy

9 Department of Oncology, ARNAS Garibaldi, Catania, Italy

10 Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Cagliari, Italy

11 Department of Pathology, University and General Hospital, Udine, Italy

12 Medical Oncology Unit, University Hospital, Parma, Italy

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Giuseppe Aprile, email:

Keywords: gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, HER2-inhibition, prognosis, predictive factor

Received: December 11, 2015 Accepted: June 16, 2016 Published: August 12, 2016


HER-2 (ErbB-2, c-erbB2 or Her2/neu), a member of the HER-family, is directly involved in the pathogenesis and progression of several human cancers; as such, it is also often considered as a poor prognostic factor. Following the revolutionary impact of anti-HER-2 therapy in breast cancer patients, the role of HER-2 and its blockade has also been extensively evaluated in other tumor types, including gastric and colorectal adenocarcinoma. The aims of this review are to recall the important results achieved with the use of HER-2 inhibitors in both gastric and colorectal cancer, and to discuss on the updates available on the role of HER-2 as prognostic and predictive factor in these malignancies.

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