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Int J Mol Med. 2003 Mar;11(3):305-9.

Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in human pancreatic cancer: Significance for liver metastasis.

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Department of Surgery, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan.


Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor with an extremely poor prognosis. The mechanisms of the aggressive growth and metastasis are not yet extensively understood. Over-expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was suggested to be associated with malignant transformation of pancreatic cancer. We examined EGFR expression in 77 cases of invasive ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, and analyzed the relation between the EGFR expression pattern and clinicopathological factors. EGFR immunoreactivity was detected in 41.6% (32/77) of human pancreatic cancers; i.e. diffuse expression in 32.5% (25/77) and focal expression in 9.1% (7/77). The EGFR expression was associated with gender (p<0.05), histological differentiation (p<0.05) and metastatic status of TNM classification (p<0.01). The observations suggested that EGFR expression plays important roles in metastasis, especially liver metastasis and recurrence of human pancreatic cancer.

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