Significance of epidermal growth factor receptor in advanced ovarian cancer

Giovanni Scambia, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, Francesco Battaglia, Gabriella Ferrandina, Gabriela Baiocchi, Stefano Greggi, Rosa De Vincenzo, Salvatore Mancuso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the significance of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) expression in a group of advanced ovarian carcinomas. Portents and Methods: The study was conducted on 72 previously untreated patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage III-IV disease. The median follow-up was 24 months (range, 4 to 75 months). EGF-R was measured by a radioreceptorial assay. A cutoff of 1.5 fmol per milligram of protein was chosen to define EGF-R positivity. Medians and life tables obtained with the Kaplan and Meier method were analyzed by the log-rank test. The risk of progression was estimated by Cox's proportional hazards model. Results: EGF-R was detected in 54% of primary tumors. When EGF-R was analyzed in different tissue specimens of the same tumor, consistent findings were noted in 88% (seven of eight) of cases. A lower concordance rate (nine of 15; 60%) was found between primary tumors and omental metastases, with a tendency toward higher EGF-R levels in the latter. The EGF-R expression did not significantly correlate with age, stage, grading, and residual tumor after primary surgery. In the univariate analysis, stage IV disease, postoperative residual tumor diameter greater than 2 cm, presence of ascites, and EGF-R positivity were found to be significantly associated with a greater risk of disease progression. In the multivariate analysis, only the postoperative residual tumor and the EGF-R expression remained significantly associated with a high risk of progression. Conclusion: Data reported here suggest that the presence of EGF-R in advanced ovarian tumor at the time of the primary surgery identifies a subset of patients with a particularly poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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