Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is one of the most important prognostic and predictive factors for breast cancer patients. Recently, serum HER2 ECD level of patients detected by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) has been shown to predict tumor HER2 status and reveal its association with tumor progression, recurrence and poor prognosis. In this study, we established a new method, dot blot assay, to measure the serum HER2 level in breast cancer patients and further to evaluate the clinical value for monitoring breast cancer progression. We found that the serum HER2 level measured by dot blot assay was significantly correlated with tissue HER2 status in breast cancer patients (P = 0.001), and also significantly correlated with HER2 level measured by ELISA (P = 1.06×10−11). Compared with ELISA method, the specificity and sensitivity of dot blot assay were 95.3% and 65.0%, respectively. The serum HER2 levels of patients with grade III or ER-negative were higher than those with grade I–II (P = 0.004) and ER-positive (P = 0.033), respectively. Therefore, the novel dot blot method to detect serum HER2 level is a valid and inexpensive assay with potential application in monitoring breast cancer progression in clinical situations
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