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Int J Biol Markers. 1995 Jul-Sep;10(3):136-42.

Epidermal growth factor receptor in human breast cancer comparison with steroid receptors and other prognostic factors.

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Biochemistry Department, National Cancer Institute Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italy.


The relationship between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) status and various prognostic factors was investigated in 70 human breast cancer specimens. Epidermal growth factor receptor was determined by radioligand binding assay, standardized by the EORTC Receptor Study Group, using hydroxyapatite to separate receptor-bound and free ligand. The percentage of EGFR positivity was 80% when the cutoff was set at 5 fmol/mg of membrane protein; this percentage was among the highest hitherto reported. Regression analysis of EGFR versus ER and PR levels confirmed an inverse relationship between EGFR and ER (p = 0.022) as well as between EGFR and PR (p = 0.024). Univariate analysis of the EGFR data stratified according to steroid hormone receptor status showed EGFR to be negatively associated with ER and PR. No association was found between EGFR and menopausal status, axillary lymph node involvement, tumor size, and differentiation grade. A direct association between EGFR status and Ki-67 positive cell rate could be demonstrated.

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