Molecular Prognostic and Predictive Factors

In 1991, Hilsenbeck and collaborators described the requirements for adopting a new prognostic marker into clinical practice.2 The overwhelming majority of proposed markers for breast cancer have failed to fulfill those requirements. Thus, although there are numerous bio-markers that have achieved promise on the basis of preliminary results, only HER2/NEU has been formally incorporated into standard practice over the past three decades.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), also known as c-erb-B-1 and HER1, is a member of a family of transmembrane receptors that includes HER2, HER3, and HER4. HER1 has significant homology with the HER3/NEU

protein, both of which have an intrinsic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain that is activated by ligand binding to the EGFR.

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