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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2002 Mar;128(3):167-70. Epub 2002 Jan 30.

Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in invasive thymoma.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Clarian Health Partners, 550 North University Blvd., Rm 3465, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. jhenley@iupui.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane glycoprotein with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity. Activation results in a variety of cellular responses including cell proliferation and differentiation. In clinical trials, anti-EGFR is showing promise in the treatment of solid tumors expressing EGFR. Thus, we assessed EGFR expression in a series of thymic epithelial tumors.

METHODS:

Tumors from 37 patients seen at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUMC) for treatment of thymoma (31 patients) or thymic carcinoma (six patients) were assessed for EGFR expression. Five-micron sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor (28 invasive and/or metastatic thymomas, six thymic carcinomas, and three non-invasive thymomas) were stained with anti-EGFR. Any degree of cytoplasmic membrane staining of tumor cells was considered positive; furthermore, staining was scored 0 to 3+ using criteria as standardized for HER-2/neu assessment of breast carcinoma. Appropriate controls were performed.

RESULTS:

Positive staining of tumor was observed in 28 tumors (23 invasive and/or metastatic thymomas, two thymic carcinomas, and three non-invasive thymomas).

CONCLUSIONS:

EGFR is expressed in a high percentage of thymic epithelial tumors. EGFR is often strongly expressed and is a potential therapeutic target in patients with malignant thymic tumors. We are pursuing additional studies to assess anti-EGRF in the treatment of patients with advanced thymoma.

PMID:
11935304
DOI:
10.1007/s00432-001-0319-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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