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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999 Jan;53(2):167-76.

Expression of epidermal growth factor receptor mRNA and protein in primary breast carcinomas.

Author information

1
Breast Cancer Research Unit, University of Leicester, Clinical Sciences, Glenfield Hospital NHS Trust, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA and protein has been determined in a group of breast carcinomas and compared to oestrogen and progesterone receptor (ER, PgR) status, as well as pathological features. In situ hybridization using a digoxigenin-labelled oligonucleotide probe was applied to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections, and immunohistochemistry was used to determine EGFR protein. EGFR mRNA was detected in 66% of carcinomas with a third having labelling similar to normal breast tissue, 22% heterogeneous weak to strong labelling, and 11% strong labelling. EGFR protein was detected in 36% and these tumours had a strong correlation to lack of ER and high histological grade. The presence of EGFR protein was strongly correlated with more intense labelling for EGFR mRNA (p < 0.0001). This contrasted with normal breast in which both EGFR protein and mRNA were present with varying degrees in both tumours and a normal breast control. The ER-/PgR- carcinomas showed the full range of EGFR mRNA labelling. It is postulated that oestrogen or oestrogen regulated proteins are involved in regulation of EGFR mRNA and protein. In a proportion of tumours lacking steroid receptors regulation is lost, leading to EGFR overexpression.

PMID:
10326794
DOI:
10.1023/a:1006194700667
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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