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Br J Cancer. 1992 Feb;65(2):189-92.

Epidermal growth factor receptor levels are lower in carcinomatous than in normal colorectal tissue.

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Department of Experimental and Chemical Endocrinology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


A series of 24 paired samples of colorectal carcinoma and the respective normal colorectal mucosa were analysed for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) content by means of a standardised ligand binding assay. We, for the first time, found that EGFR levels are statistically significantly higher in normal colorectal mucosa biopsy samples than they are in colorectal carcinoma biopsy samples, the median EGFR levels being 77.5 fmol mg-1 of membrane protein (range 35-239), against 46 fmol mg-1 of membrane protein (range 22-81), respectively, P less than 0.001. In addition, we found that there are significant regional differences in EGFR expression in the normal human colon mucosa. The EGFR levels were significantly higher in samples from the proximal part of the colon than they were in samples from the distal part, the median EGFR levels being 124 fmol mg-1 of membrane protein (range 70-239) vs 55 fmol mg-1 membrane protein (range 35-156), P less than 0.05. The EGFR levels of the colorectal carcinoma samples did not show any regional variation.

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