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Dig Surg. 2006;23(1-2):74-9. Epub 2006 May 23.

Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in pancreatic carcinoma using tissue microarray technique.

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Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



The effect of overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in pancreatic carcinoma is not clear. Utilizing tissue microarrays, we evaluated EGFR expression in pancreatic cancer to determine the association of EGFR expression with histopathologic characteristics and patient outcome.


71 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 18 cases of chronic pancreatitis were retrieved from archival files. Tissue cores from donor blocks were arrayed to create a tissue microarray. Sections were stained with EGFR and the intensity of membranous staining and percentage of tumor cells showing immunoreactivity were determined. At least 1% membranous staining and 1+ intensity were considered positive.


EGFR was present in 49 of 71 (69%) cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 7 of 18 (39%) cases of chronic pancreatitis (p = 0.03). There was no statistically significant correlation between intensity or extent of EGFR expression and tumor grade, size, or lymph node status. While median survival was nearly twice as long when EGFR was expressed (15.2 vs. 8.3 months), this did not reach statistical significance.


EGFR is overexpressed in pancreatic cancers independent of histopathologic characteristics and does not predict survival. Immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR staining may help in identifying candidates for EGFR inhibitor therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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