Brain metastasis in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma and HER2 status

Dror Limon, Omer Gal, Noa Gordon, Lior Katz, Gali Perl, Ofer Purim, Limor Amit, Salomon M. Stemmer, Yulia Kundel, Irit Ben-Aharon, Baruch Brenner, Tali Siegal, Shlomit Yust-Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The increased survival of patients with gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GAD) following improvements in treatment has been accompanied by a rising incidence of secondary brain metastasis. HER2 amplification/overexpression, which has been associated with an increased risk of brain metastasis in breast cancer, is found in about 20% of patients with GAD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of HER2 status on brain metastasis in GAD. The database of a tertiary cancer center was searched for patients with GAD diagnosed in 2011–2015, and data were collected on clinical characteristics, brain metastasis, HER2 status, and outcome. We identified 404 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of GAD. HER2 results were available for 298: 69 (23.2%) positive and 227 negative. Brain metastasis developed in 15 patients with GAD (3.7%); HER2 results, available in 13, were positive in 6, negative in 6, and equivocal in 1. The brain metastasis rate was significantly higher in HER2-positive than HER2-negative patients with GAD (6/69, 8.7% vs. 6/227, 2.6%; RR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.1–9.9, p = 0.034). Median overall survival from diagnosis of brain metastasis was 2.3 months, with no significant difference by HER2 status. HER2 positive GAD patients may be at increased risk to develop BM. Clinicians should maintain a lower threshold for performing brain imaging in patients with HER2-positive GAD given their increased risk of brain metastasis. The role of anti-HER2 agents in the development and treatment of brain metastasis in GAD warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain metastasis
  • Gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma
  • HER2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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