Epidermal growth factor receptor and other oncogenes as prognostic markers.
Harris AL., Nicholson S., Sainsbury R., Wright C., Farndon J.
Analysis of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) and estrogen receptor (ER) was performed on tumor samples from 231 patients with operable breast cancer followed for up to 6 years after surgery. The median duration of follow-up in patients still alive at the time of analysis was 45 months. Thirty-five percent of patients (82) had tumors greater than 10 fmol/mg of 125I-EGF binding (EGFr+) and 47% (109) had cystolic ER concentration greater than 5 fmol/mg (ER+), with a marked inverse relationship between EGFr and ER (P less than .00001). EGFr was second only to axillary-node status as a prognostic marker for all patients in terms of both relapse-free and overall survival in univariate analysis (P less than .001, log-rank EGFr + v EGFr-). For patients with histologically negative axillary nodes, EGFr was superior to ER in predicting relapse and survival (P less than .01 and P less than .005, respectively, compared to P less than .1 and P less than .1, log-rank). In a multivariate (Cox model) analysis, only EGFr--out of EGFr, ER, size, and grade--was predictive for either relapse-free or overall survival for patients with node-negative disease (P = .052 and P = .026, respectively). One hundred eighty-seven case patients in the series were assessed for neu expression immunochemically, and 31 were positive. There was a highly significant increased risk of relapse and death in the positive group. In patients with otherwise good prognostic markers (ER+, node-negative, well-differentiated tumors), neu expression predicted for significantly worsened overall survival.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)