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Virchows Arch. 1995;426(1):43-50.

Thymoma: tumour type related to expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF), EGF-receptor, p53, v-erb B and ras p21.

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First Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kobe University, Japan.


As clinicopathological features may not be sufficient to predict the progression of thymoma, we have carried out what we believe to be the first immunohistochemical study describing the relationship between the different types of thymoma and the tumour stage, on the one hand, and the expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF), EGF-receptor (EGFR), p53, v-erb B and ras p21, on the other. The positive rates versus histological types and Masaoka's clinical stages in the 47 cases were as follows: p53 (non-invasive thymoma: 41.7%; malignant thymoma category I: 82.4%; malignant thymoma category II: 83.3%), EGF (non-invasive thymoma: 4.2%; malignant thymoma category I: 11.8%; malignant thymoma category II: 33.3%) and EGFR (non-invasive thymoma: 8.3%; malignant thymoma category I: 35.3%; malignant thymoma category II: 66.7%); p53 (stages I and II: 51.7%; stages III and IV: 77.8%), EGF (stages I and II: 3.4%; stages III and IV: 22.2%) and EGFR (stages I and II: 13.8%; stages III and IV: 44.4%). These data suggest that p53 may be implicated in the initial stages of tumorigenesis and that increased expression of EGF and EGFR may play a role in thymoma progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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