Encyclopedia of Pathology

Living Edition
| Editors: J.H.J.M. van Krieken

HER2 in Breast Cancer

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28845-1_4710-1



HER2, whose official name is “erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2,” is a tyrosine kinase receptor belonging to the human epidermal growth factor receptor family. It represents the second member of this family (and therefore called HER2), and it is an orphan receptor, meaning that no specific ligands are known for this receptor.


About 15% of all invasive breast carcinomas present HER2 overexpression and/or HER2 gene amplification, thus identifying a subset of breast carcinomas that can be treated in a targeted fashion. It has been shown that HER2-positive breast carcinomas are often poorly differentiated and of no special types (NST) (Invasive Carcinoma NST).

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of high nuclear grade with comedonecrosis (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) is frequently HER2-positive and may be associated with an invasive carcinoma. However, HER2 overexpression in DCIS is not considered for anti-HER2 therapy. Cells of Paget disease of the nipple (Paget...

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References and Further Reading

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Pathology DivisionCandiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCSCandioloItaly