Discordance in HER2 status in gastro-esophageal adenocarcinomas: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Aafke Creemers, Emil ter Veer, L de Waal, P. Lodder, G.K.J. Hooijer, N.C.T. van Grieken, M.F. Bijlsma, S.L. Meijer, M.G.H. van Oijen, H.W.M. van Laarhoven

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Trastuzumab combined with chemotherapy is standard of care for HER2 positive advanced gastro-esophageal cancers. The reported prevalence of HER2 discordance between primary tumors and corresponding metastases varies, hampering uniform patient selection for HER2 targeted therapy. This meta-analysis explores the influence of HER2 assessment methods on this discordance and investigates the prevalence of HER2 discordance in gastro-esophageal adenocarcinomas. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched until January 2016. Differences in discordance rate between strict and broad(er) definitions of HER2 status were assessed using random-effect pair-wise meta-analysis. Random-effect single-arm meta-analyses were performed to assess HER2 discordance and the prevalence of positive and negative conversion. A significantly lower discordance rate in HER2 status between primary tumors and corresponding metastases was observed using a strict vs. broad definition of HER2 status (RR = 0.58, 95%CI 0.41–0.82), with a pooled discordance rate of 6.2% and 12.2%, respectively. Using the strict definition of HER2 assessment pooled overall discordance was 7% (95%CI 5–10%). The lowest discordance rates between primary tumors and corresponding metastasis are observed when using a strict method of HER2 positivity. Treatment outcomes of different studies will be better comparable if selection of eligible patients for HER2 targeted therapy is based on this strict definition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3135
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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