An immunohistochemical stain to the c-ErbB-2 protein was performed in 225 paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from patients with locally advanced gastric cancer who underwent curative resection. The overexpression of the c-ErbB-2 protein was observed in 27.4% of the patients. The c-ErbB-2 positivity showed a statistically significant correlation with nodal status and stage. The patients with an overexpression of the c-ErbB-2 protein had a tendency to a shorter survival than those without, but it was not statistically significant (p = 0.08). The 5-year survival rate after surgery was 54% in the negative staining group to the c-ErbB-2 protein and 49% in the positive staining group. This suggests that the c-ErbB-2 protein has a possible role in lymph node metastasis. Therefore overexpression of the c-ErbB-2 protein is a useful indicator of disease progression in gastric carcinoma patients who received curative surgery.
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