Background. The oncogenic potential of the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) is well known in the context of breast cancer however; its relationship with the development of Barrett’s Oesophagus (BO) and Oesophageal Cancer (OC) is conflicting.
Aim. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the overall prevalence and risk of HER2+ in BO & OC.
Method. Several databases were searched (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed), including article reference lists. Inclusion criteria required that studies measured HER2 positivity in subjected with BO or OC. All studies were used in analysis of HER2 prevalence and studies that reported survival rates were used for risk assessment.
Results. Twenty-seven studies were included in the meta-analysis (10 BO and 17 OC studies). The prevalence of HER2+ was found to be 24% (95% CI: 15% – 36%; p<0.001) in BO and 26% (95% CI: 19% – 34%; p<0.001) in OC. Females were slightly more likely to be HER2+ compared to males (mean 28% vs 25%). Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) had a higher event rate of 32% (95% CI: 20% – 48%; p=0.03) in comparison to adenocarcinoma (ADC) with an event rate of 21% (95% CI: 14% – 32%; p<0.001). Sub-group analyses showed a high geographical variance, Asia was found to have the highest prevalence with 42% (95% CI: 22% – 64%; p=0.48), followed by USA 33% (95% CI: 21% – 48%; p=0.02), with the lowest in Europe 17% (95% CI: 10% - 17%; p<0.001). On average, survival among subjects who were HER2+ was found to be 7 months shorter than among those subjects who were HER2-.
Conclusions. Our results highlight the prevalence of HER2+ in subjects with BO and OC and the histological variants. HER2+ has been shown to affect the survival rate of OC patients.