• Is overexpression of HER-2 a predictor of prognosis in colorectal cancer?

      Kavanagh, Dara O; Chambers, Gillian; O'Grady, Liam; Barry, Kevin M; Waldron, Ronan P; Bennani, Fadel; Eustace, Paul W; Tobbia, Iqdam; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland., dara_kav@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: The development of novel chemotherapeutic agents in colorectal cancer has improved survival. Following initial response to chemotherapeutic strategies many patients develop refractory disease. This poses a significant challenge common to many cancer subtypes. Newer agents such as Bevacizumab have successfully targeted the tyrosine kinase receptor epidermal growth factor receptor in metastatic colorectal cancer. Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 is another member of the tyrosine kinase receptor family which has been successfully targeted in breast cancer. This may play a role in colorectal cancer. We conducted a clinicopathological study to determine if overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 is a predictor of outcome in a cohort of patients with colorectal cancer. METHODS: Clinicopathological data and paraffin-embedded specimens were collected on 132 consecutive patients who underwent colorectal resections over a 24-month period at Mayo General Hospital. Twenty-six contained non-malignant disease. Her-2/neu protein overexpression was detected using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The HER-2 4B5 Ventana monoclonal antibody was used. Fluorescent insitu hybridisation (FISH) was performed using INFORM HER-2/Neu Plus. Results were correlated with established clinical and pathological predictors of outcome including TNM stage. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 11.5. RESULTS: 114 were HER-2/Neu negative using IHC, 7 showed barely perceptible positivity (1+), 9 showed moderate staining (2+) and 2 were strongly positive (3+). There was no correlation with gender, age, grade, Dukes' stage, TNM stage, time to recurrence and 5-year survival (p > 0.05). FISH was applied to all 2+ and 3+ cases as well as some negative cases selected at random. Three were amplified (2 were 3+ and 1 was 2+). Similarly, HER-2 gene overexpression did not correlate with established prognostic indicators. CONCLUSION: HER-2 protein is over expressed in 11% of colorectal cancer patients. The gene encoding HER-2 is amplified in 3% of cases. Overexpression of HER-2 is not a predictor of outcome. However, patients who over express HER-2 may respond to Herceptin therapy.
    • Recurrent sigmoid volvulus - early resection may obviate later emergency surgery and reduce morbidity and mortality.

      Larkin, J O; Thekiso, T B; Waldron, R; Barry, K; Eustace, P W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., larkin.dundalk@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Acute sigmoid volvulus is a well recognised cause of acute large bowel obstruction. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed our unit's experience with non-operative and operative management of this condition. A total of 27 patients were treated for acute sigmoid volvulus between 1996 and 2006. In total, there were 62 separate hospital admissions. RESULTS: Eleven patients were managed with colonoscopic decompression alone. The overall mortality rate for non-operative management was 36.4% (4 of 11 patients). Fifteen patients had operative management (five semi-elective following decompression, 10 emergency). There was no mortality in the semi-elective cohort and one in the emergency surgery group. The overall mortality for surgery was 6% (1 of 15). Five of the seven patients managed with colonoscopic decompression alone who survived were subsequently re-admitted with sigmoid volvulus (a 71.4% recurrence rate). The six deaths in our overall series each occurred in patients with established gangrene of the bowel. With early surgical intervention before the onset of gangrene, however, good outcomes may be achieved, even in patients apparently unsuitable for elective surgery. Eight of the 15 operatively managed patients were considered to be ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) grade 4. There was no postoperative mortality in this group. CONCLUSIONS: Given the high rate of recurrence of sigmoid volvulus after initial successful non-operative management and the attendant risks of mortality from gangrenous bowel developing with a subsequent volvulus, it is our contention that all patients should be considered for definitive surgery after initial colonoscopic decompression, irrespective of the ASA score.