Evaluating HER2 amplification status and acquired drug resistance in breast cancer cells using Raman spectroscopy

Xiaohong Bi, Brent Rexer, Carlos L. Arteaga, Mingsheng Guo, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is associated with increased breast cancer recurrence and worse prognosis. Effective treatments such as trastuzumab and lapatinib for patients with HER2 overexpression target the blockade of HER2 signaling activities but are often limited by the emergence of acquired drug resistance. This study applied Raman spectroscopy to differentially identify the amplification status of HER2 in cells and to characterize the biochemical composition of lapatinib resistant and sensitive HER2+ breast cancer cells in response to the drug. Raman spectra from BT474 (HER2+ breast cancer cell), MCF-10A (HER2- control), and HER2+ MCF-10A (HER2+ control) were analyzed using lasso and elastic-net regularized generalized linear models (glmnet) for multivariate statistical analysis and were discriminated to groups of different HER2 expression status with an overall 99% sensitivity and specificity. Enhanced lipid content and decreased proteome were observed in HER2+ cells. With lapatinib treatment, lapatinib-resistant breast cancer cells demonstrated sustained lipogenesis compared with the sensitive cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025001
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Drug resistance
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
  • Lapatinib
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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