Value of epidermal growth factor receptor status compared with growth fraction and other factors for prognosis in early breast cancer

G. Gasparini, P. Bevilacqua, F. Pozza, S. Meli, P. Boracchi, E. Marubini, J. R C Sainsbury

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Abstract

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane glycoprotein whose expression is important in the regulation of breast cancer cell growth. The relationship between EGFR status (determined by an immunocytochemical assay) and various prognostic factors was investigated in 164 primary breast cancers. Overall 56% of tumours were EGFR-positive and the expression of EGFR was unrelated to axillary node status, tumour size and histological grade; and it was poorly associated with the tumour proliferative activity measured by Ki-67 immuno-cytochemistry. The relapse-free survival (RFS) probability at 3-years was significantly worse for patients with EGFR positive tumours (P = 0.003) and for those whose Ki-67 score was > 7.5% (P = 0.0027), as well as in patients with axillary node involvement (P = 0.01) and with poorly differentiated tumours (P= 0.04). Immunocytochemical determination of EGFR and cell kinetics gave super-imposable prognostic information for predicting RFS with odds ratios of 3.51, when evaluated singly. In our series of patients EGFR, Ki-67 and node status retain their prognostic value concerning RFS in multivariate analysis. The 3-year probability of overall survival (OS) was significantly better in node-negative patients (P= 0.04) and was similar in EGFR-positive and negative patients. In conclusion, EGFR status appears to be a significant and independent indicator of recurrence in human breast cancer and the concomitant measurement of the tumour proliferative activity seems to improve the selection of patients with different risks of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-976
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume66
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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    Gasparini, G., Bevilacqua, P., Pozza, F., Meli, S., Boracchi, P., Marubini, E., & Sainsbury, J. R. C. (1992). Value of epidermal growth factor receptor status compared with growth fraction and other factors for prognosis in early breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 66(5), 970-976.