Role of EGFR as prognostic factor in head and neck cancer patients treated with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy: proposal of a new approach behind the EGFR overexpression

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Abstract

In an era of personalized treatment, there is a great interest in identifying factors which might predict patient response to radiotherapy (RT). The role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains still controversial. We performed a retrospective analysis on the prognostic value of EGFR in HNSCC patients treated with surgery and postoperative RT through a semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR membrane expression. We retrospectively analyzed 65 HNSCC patients treated in our Institute from 1997 to 2003 who underwent adjuvant RT after surgery. Median follow-up was 43.5 months (range 0.2–173 months). None of these patients were treated with postoperative concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor samples were obtained from surgical specimens. Membrane features (intensity, extension) of EGFR expression were evaluated, and a statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate) was conducted to correlate these parameters with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with an intense and complete labeling of EGFR presented worse OS and DFS compared with groups obtained by all other possible combination, and the difference was borderline statistically significant (P = 0.08 for OS and P = 0.006 for DFS). Moreover, a stratification of patients was performed considering EGFR expression on the tumor tissue and classifying its distribution as “homogeneous” or “heterogeneous.” We found that patients showing an “heterogeneous” EGFR expression distribution had worse OS and DFS compared to the “homogeneous” group of patients. Based on our results, EGFR expression, especially referring to membrane features (semiquantitative analysis), might have a prognostic value for OS and DFS in locally advanced HNSCC treated with surgery and adjuvant RT. Prospective trials could be useful to confirm the prognostic role of EGFR expression and also to assess a predictive role to select that might benefit from more aggressive treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107
JournalMedical Oncology
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

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Head and Neck Neoplasms
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
Radiotherapy
Disease-Free Survival
Survival
Adjuvant Radiotherapy
Membranes
Neoplasms
Multivariate Analysis
Drug Therapy
Carcinoma, squamous cell of head and neck
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • EGFR expression
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

@article{a84df26db57b4b95bb8f3fc4c17b67a1,
title = "Role of EGFR as prognostic factor in head and neck cancer patients treated with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy: proposal of a new approach behind the EGFR overexpression",
abstract = "In an era of personalized treatment, there is a great interest in identifying factors which might predict patient response to radiotherapy (RT). The role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains still controversial. We performed a retrospective analysis on the prognostic value of EGFR in HNSCC patients treated with surgery and postoperative RT through a semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR membrane expression. We retrospectively analyzed 65 HNSCC patients treated in our Institute from 1997 to 2003 who underwent adjuvant RT after surgery. Median follow-up was 43.5 months (range 0.2–173 months). None of these patients were treated with postoperative concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor samples were obtained from surgical specimens. Membrane features (intensity, extension) of EGFR expression were evaluated, and a statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate) was conducted to correlate these parameters with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with an intense and complete labeling of EGFR presented worse OS and DFS compared with groups obtained by all other possible combination, and the difference was borderline statistically significant (P = 0.08 for OS and P = 0.006 for DFS). Moreover, a stratification of patients was performed considering EGFR expression on the tumor tissue and classifying its distribution as “homogeneous” or “heterogeneous.” We found that patients showing an “heterogeneous” EGFR expression distribution had worse OS and DFS compared to the “homogeneous” group of patients. Based on our results, EGFR expression, especially referring to membrane features (semiquantitative analysis), might have a prognostic value for OS and DFS in locally advanced HNSCC treated with surgery and adjuvant RT. Prospective trials could be useful to confirm the prognostic role of EGFR expression and also to assess a predictive role to select that might benefit from more aggressive treatments.",
keywords = "Biomarkers, EGFR expression, Head and neck cancers, Radiotherapy",
author = "Daniela Alterio and Giulia Marvaso and Fausto Maffini and Sara Gandini and Susanna Chiocca and Annamaria Ferrari and Lorenzo Preda and Rocca, {Maria Cossu} and Daniela Lepanto and Cristiana Fodor and Stefania Volpe and Samantha Dicuonzo and Antonio Laudati and Gioacchino Giugliano and Mohssen Ansarin and Jereczek-Fossa, {Barbara A.}",
year = "2017",
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doi = "10.1007/s12032-017-0965-7",
language = "English",
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T1 - Role of EGFR as prognostic factor in head and neck cancer patients treated with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy

T2 - proposal of a new approach behind the EGFR overexpression

AU - Alterio, Daniela

AU - Marvaso, Giulia

AU - Maffini, Fausto

AU - Gandini, Sara

AU - Chiocca, Susanna

AU - Ferrari, Annamaria

AU - Preda, Lorenzo

AU - Rocca, Maria Cossu

AU - Lepanto, Daniela

AU - Fodor, Cristiana

AU - Volpe, Stefania

AU - Dicuonzo, Samantha

AU - Laudati, Antonio

AU - Giugliano, Gioacchino

AU - Ansarin, Mohssen

AU - Jereczek-Fossa, Barbara A.

PY - 2017/6/1

Y1 - 2017/6/1

N2 - In an era of personalized treatment, there is a great interest in identifying factors which might predict patient response to radiotherapy (RT). The role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains still controversial. We performed a retrospective analysis on the prognostic value of EGFR in HNSCC patients treated with surgery and postoperative RT through a semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR membrane expression. We retrospectively analyzed 65 HNSCC patients treated in our Institute from 1997 to 2003 who underwent adjuvant RT after surgery. Median follow-up was 43.5 months (range 0.2–173 months). None of these patients were treated with postoperative concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor samples were obtained from surgical specimens. Membrane features (intensity, extension) of EGFR expression were evaluated, and a statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate) was conducted to correlate these parameters with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with an intense and complete labeling of EGFR presented worse OS and DFS compared with groups obtained by all other possible combination, and the difference was borderline statistically significant (P = 0.08 for OS and P = 0.006 for DFS). Moreover, a stratification of patients was performed considering EGFR expression on the tumor tissue and classifying its distribution as “homogeneous” or “heterogeneous.” We found that patients showing an “heterogeneous” EGFR expression distribution had worse OS and DFS compared to the “homogeneous” group of patients. Based on our results, EGFR expression, especially referring to membrane features (semiquantitative analysis), might have a prognostic value for OS and DFS in locally advanced HNSCC treated with surgery and adjuvant RT. Prospective trials could be useful to confirm the prognostic role of EGFR expression and also to assess a predictive role to select that might benefit from more aggressive treatments.

AB - In an era of personalized treatment, there is a great interest in identifying factors which might predict patient response to radiotherapy (RT). The role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains still controversial. We performed a retrospective analysis on the prognostic value of EGFR in HNSCC patients treated with surgery and postoperative RT through a semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR membrane expression. We retrospectively analyzed 65 HNSCC patients treated in our Institute from 1997 to 2003 who underwent adjuvant RT after surgery. Median follow-up was 43.5 months (range 0.2–173 months). None of these patients were treated with postoperative concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor samples were obtained from surgical specimens. Membrane features (intensity, extension) of EGFR expression were evaluated, and a statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate) was conducted to correlate these parameters with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with an intense and complete labeling of EGFR presented worse OS and DFS compared with groups obtained by all other possible combination, and the difference was borderline statistically significant (P = 0.08 for OS and P = 0.006 for DFS). Moreover, a stratification of patients was performed considering EGFR expression on the tumor tissue and classifying its distribution as “homogeneous” or “heterogeneous.” We found that patients showing an “heterogeneous” EGFR expression distribution had worse OS and DFS compared to the “homogeneous” group of patients. Based on our results, EGFR expression, especially referring to membrane features (semiquantitative analysis), might have a prognostic value for OS and DFS in locally advanced HNSCC treated with surgery and adjuvant RT. Prospective trials could be useful to confirm the prognostic role of EGFR expression and also to assess a predictive role to select that might benefit from more aggressive treatments.

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KW - Radiotherapy

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