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Mod Pathol. 2006 Jun;19(6):788-96.

Potential crosstalk between insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 and epidermal growth factor receptor in progression and metastasis of pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery I, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.


The insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (IGF1R) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are reportedly overexpressed in pancreatic cancer. However, the correlation between activated EGFR and IGF1R and their clinicopathological implications still remain unclear. The cellular localization and overexpression of IGF1R and EGFR were investigated immunohistochemically in primary invasive ductal pancreatic carcinomas obtained from 74 patients who underwent radical surgical resection. We also compared the status of IGF1R and EGFR overexpression between primary tumors and hepatic metastatic tumors obtained from 44 autopsied patients. Among the 74 surgically resected primary tumors, cytoplasm- and membrane-dominant EGFR overexpression was detected in 22 (30%) and 7 (9%), respectively, whereas cytoplasm- and membrane-dominant IGF1R overexpression was detected in 8 (11%) and 28 (38%), respectively. Membrane-dominant EGFR and cytoplasm-dominant IGF1R were more frequent in lower-grade tumors and correlated with favorable prognosis, whereas cytoplasm-dominant EGFR and membrane-dominant IGF1R were more frequent in higher-grade tumors and correlated with poor prognosis. In 36 autopsy specimens of pancreatic tumor with concurrent overexpression of IGF1R and EGFR, there was an inverse correlation between the IGF1R and EGFR localization patterns (P = 0.001). In the hepatic metastatic tumors obtained by autopsy, the incidences of both IGF1R and EGFR overexpression were much higher than in the surgically resected primary tumors. More than half of the autopsy cases consistently showed membrane-dominant EGFR expression in both the primary tumor and hepatic metastases, whereas IGF1R expression showed considerable variation. Crosstalk between differently localized IGF1R and EGFR might play a role in determining the biological aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer, although their cellular localization may often alter during the process of metastasis.

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