EGFR status linked to poor survival in advanced breast cancer patients

December 05, 2003

SAN ANTONIO -- Looking back at 14 years of data, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that women with advanced breast cancer had significantly poorer outcome if their tumors tested positive for expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

EGFR is a growth stimulus that has been found in other cancers to produce a more aggressive disease, but this study is the first to firmly link expression of that protein to poor outcome in breast cancer, say the researchers, who presented their findings at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

"This is potentially important news in that new drugs have been developed that block the EGFR pathway. These data provide a rationale for studying these agents in selected patients with breast cancer," says Thomas Buchholz, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology, who conducted the study. One such trial of the EGFR inhibitor drug, Iressa, combined with the endocrine therapy, Arimidex, will begin shortly at 15 centers nationwide, led by M. D. Anderson.

In Buchholz's study, researchers evaluated expression of EGFR in preserved tissue samples from 82 locally-advanced breast cancer patients treated between 1989-1996 in clinical trials that tested use of chemotherapy before surgery. EGFR expression was positive in 14 cases (16 percent) and negative in 68 cases (84 percent).

They then examined whether EGFR expression correlated with outcome, and found that patients with EGFR-positive disease had both a worse disease-free survival and overall survival than patients with EGFR-negative cancer. For example, EGFR-positive patient had an overall survival at nine years after treatment of 43 percent compared to 60 percent in EGFR-negative patients.

"This is a small study, but we can clearly see that EGFR expression correlated with survival," says Buchholz. "This is relatively surprising, because EGFR has not been widely studied in breast cancer and these data suggest that it may have prognostic significance."
-end-


University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.