Research Papers:

Prognostic significance of HER3 in patients with malignant solid tumors

Qin Li, RuiXue Zhang, Han Yan, PengFei Zhao, Li Wu, Hui Wang, Teng Li and Bangwei Cao _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:67140-67151. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18007

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Qin Li1, RuiXue Zhang2, Han Yan1, PengFei Zhao1, Li Wu3, Hui Wang3, Teng Li1 and Bangwei Cao1,4,5

1Department of Oncology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China

2Department of Internal Medicine, The First Hospital, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100016, China

3Department of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, China

4Beijing Key Laboratory for Precancerous Lesion of Digestive Diseases, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China

5Beijing Digestive Diseases Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China

Correspondence to:

Bangwei Cao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: HER3, malignant tumors, prognosis, molecular markers, immunohistochemistry

Received: August 10, 2016    Accepted: March 21, 2017    Published: May 18, 2017


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3) is closely involved in tumor progression and is an important target of therapy. To evaluate the prognostic significance of HER3 in malignant solid tumors, we searched the PUBMED, EMBASE and CNKI databases for relevant studies written in English or Chinese up to December 2015. Fifteen studies comprising 2964 patients were identified. The HER3+ rate ranged from 9.0-75.1 % in malignant solid tumors: 30.3-75.1 % in breast cancers, 51.1-74.5 % in colorectal cancers, 13.7-59.0 % in gastric cancers, and 54.5-74.4 % in cervical cancers. For patients with a malignant solid tumor, the death risk was higher for those with a HER3+ tumor than for those with a HER3 tumor (HR 1.60, 95% CI: 1.27 - 2.02, P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed this was also the case for patients with digestive or gastric cancer (HR 1.78, P < 0.001; HR 2.18, P < 0.001). By contrast, HER3 had no prognostic significance in colorectal or breast cancer (HR 1.52, P = 0.296; HR 1.23, P = 0.108). HER3+ is thus associated with poor survival in overall and in gastric cancer. The prognostic significance of HER3+ in other tumors is uncertain and deserves further study.

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