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Colorectal Dis. 2008 Feb;10(2):170-8. Epub 2007 Aug 16.

Epidermal growth factor receptor in colorectal carcinoma: correlation with clinico-pathological prognostic factors.

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Faculty of Medicine, Pathology, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.



This study was undertaken to determine the relationship between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) status in primary colorectal cancer (CRC) to different clinico-pathological prognostic factors.


Seventy-nine primary CRC were studied using four scoring systems: 1- EGFR pharmDx score, 2- score modified from the Hercept test [J Histo cytochem, 52 (2004) 893], 3- two additive scores with different cutoff points [Mod Pathol, 11 (1998) 155], 4- two multiplicative scores with different cutoff points [Ann Oncol, 16 (2005) 102].


More than 10% membranous EGFR reactivity was identified in 46.8% (37/79) of the tumours. The intensity was classified as mild, moderate and strong representing 8.9%, 20.3% and 17.7% respectively. Strong correlation was found between the EGFR pharmDx and the proposed scores, at different cutoff points (P < 0.01). A strong correlation was found between EGFR expression, advanced clinical stage (P < 0.01), nodal involvement (P < 0.01) and lympho-vascular invasion (LV) (P < 0.05) in category I factors, poorly differentiated tumours in IIA (P < 0.05), infiltrative border configuration in IIB (P < 0.01), perineural invasion (PN) in III (P < 0.01), and larger tumours in IV (P < 0.01). Heterogenous staining was present in 46.3% of tumours and was associated with an increased score, LV and PN invasion and advanced clinical stage (P < 0.05).


Using a cut-off point of 10%, similar results with different scoring systems were obtained, representing standardization for EGFR interpretation. EGFR expression is correlated with conventional clinico-pathological prognostic factors.

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