Healthy Male Individuals Possess Higher Plasma HER-2 Level than Females

Document Type : Letter to The Editor


1 School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 R&D Division, Tashkhis Fan Firoozeh (Firoozeh DiaTech), Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Surgery, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Breast Diseases Department, Breast Cancer Research Center, Motamed Cancer Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

5 ATMP Department, Breast Cancer Research Center, Motamed Cancer Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, University College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

7 Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran


Considering HER2 as one of the well-known biomarkers in the cancer field, and published articles regarding serum
levels of HER2, in this paper we tried to highlight the issue that most studies don’t stratify the HER-2 concentration
of individuals in terms of gender. In this brief survey, healthy individuals with no prior non-communicable diseases
were categorized as males (n=34) and females (n=43), and all samples were evaluated for plasma HER-2 levels
at once. Surprisingly, the plasma level of HER-2 of healthy male individuals (mean= 2.28 ± 0.21 ng/mL) was
significantly (P<0.0001) higher than the plasma level of HER-2 of healthy females (mean: 0.06 ± 0.09 ng/mL),
with no overlap. Therefore, we suggest that more studies are required to re-check the cutoff values for HER-2
plasma levels based on gender since the clinical implications of a unique HER-2 cutoff for both genders may be
seriously concerning.


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