Novel prognostic value of nuclear epidermal growth factor receptor in breast cancer.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been detected in the nucleus of cancer cells and primary tumors for decades. While localized in the nucleus, EGFR functions as a transcriptional regulator resulting in the activation of the cyclin D1 gene. Despite nuclear accumulation of EGFR is linked to increased DNA synthesis and proliferative potential, the pathological significance of nuclear EGFR, however, remains uninvestigated. Furthermore, expression of EGFR has not provided a consistent predictive value for survival of breast cancer patients. Here, we analyzed 130 breast carcinomas via immunohistochemical analyses for the levels of nuclear and non-nuclear EGFR. We found 37.7% of the cohort immunostained positively for nuclear EGFR and 6.9% with high levels of expression. Importantly, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and log-rank test revealed a significant inverse correlation between high nuclear EGFR and overall survival (P = 0.009). Expression of nuclear EGFR correlated positively with increased levels of cyclin D1 and Ki-67, both are indicators for cell proliferation. In contrast, expression of non-nuclear EGFR did not significantly correlate with those of cyclin D1 and Ki-67 or the overall survival rate. In addition, we analyzed 37 oral squamous carcinomas for EGFR expression and found 24.3% of the cases to contain moderate/high levels of nuclear EGFR. Taken together, our findings indicate pathological significance of nuclear EGFR and may have important clinical implication.
Lo, H-W; Xia, W; Wei, Y; Ali-Seyed, M; Huang, S-F; Hung, M-C
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