Epidermal-growth-factor receptor status as predictor of early recurrence of and death from breast cancer.
Sainsbury JR., Farndon JR., Needham GK., Malcolm AJ., Harris AL.
In 135 primary breast cancers, there was a significant inverse relation between epidermal-growth-factor receptor (EGFR) and oestrogen receptor (ER) status, and a significant association with tumour size and poor differentiation. The relapse-free survival and overall survival were significantly worse for patients with EGFR+ tumours compared with EGFR- tumours. Relapse-free survival and overall survival were also worse for patients with ER- tumours compared with ER+ tumours. Of the 71 ER- patients 28 were EGFR+ and 43 were EGFR-. The relapse-free and overall survival for ER- but EGFR+ patients were significantly worse than for "double-negative" patients. Moreover, relapse-free survival and overall survival for "double-negative" patients were similar to those for ER+ patients. Thus EGFR status divides the ER- population into good and poor prognosis subgroups. The presence of EGFR was the most important variable in the primary tumours for predicting relapse-free and overall survival. Multivariate analysis showed that EGFR status was the most important variable in predicting relapse-free and overall survival in lymph-node-negative patients, and the second most important variable in lymph-node positive patients.