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Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1989;246(3):121-5.

The expression of epidermal growth factor receptors in the oral mucosa of patients with oral cancer.

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Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Federal Republic of Germany.


Representative tumor samples and mucosal samples were taken from three different groups of patients and were stained immunohistochemically for their expressions of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR). Patients in group 1 had oral squamous carcinoma, with specimens taken from the tumor as well as from the mucosa without tumor invasion. Patients in group 2 had no evidence of tumor but had heavy drinking and smoking habits. Tumor-free patients who do not drink or smoke served as the control group. The findings in the present study showed that the tumor and mucosal samples from groups 1 and 2 had increased EGFR expression while the control group showed significantly less EGFR. These results suggest that EGFR may play a role in the development of premalignant tissue changes, which are probably influenced by chronic toxic irritation.

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