Open Access Brief communication

Her-2/neu expression is a negative prognosticator in ovarian cancer cases that do not express the follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR)

Sabine Heublein1, Thomas Vrekoussis1, Doris Mayr2, Klaus Friese13, Miriam Lenhard3, Udo Jeschke1* and Darius Dian1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Campus Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Maistrasse 11, 80337, Munich, Germany

2 Department of Pathology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Thalkirchner Strasse 36, 80337, Munich, Germany

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Campus Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany

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Journal of Ovarian Research 2013, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1757-2215-6-6

Published: 22 January 2013



Anti-Her-2 treatment is successfully administered to Her-2 overexpressing breast cancer patients and significantly implicates upon their survival. Building on these promising results, anti-Her-2 treatment protocols were tested as an option for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) as well. However Her-2 signalling is known to be modulated by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Since a common GPCR in ovarian cancer is the FSH receptor (FSHR), we investigated the prognostic significance of Her-2 in patients that had been stratified according to their FSHR status.


A total number of 153 EOC patients were included in this study. Her-2 positivity was assessed using a standard protocol. Intriguingly Her-2 turned out to be an independent prognostic marker for poor overall survival only in those patients that did not express FSHR. This did neither apply for the whole panel nor in case of FSHR co-expression.


We thus conclude that Her-2 can be a negative prognosticator only in FSHR negative EOC cases. Hence by stratifying EOC patients according to their FSHR expression status, we introduce a diagnostic protocol to effectively select EOC patients that would most probably respond to anti-Her-2 treatment. This observation could be of clinical importance in terms of selecting the patient that would most likely benefit from anti-Her-2 treatment.

Her-2/neu; Follicle stimulating hormone receptor; Ovarian cancer; Prognosis