Mutant Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Benign, Borderline, and Malignant Ovarian Tumors

ArticleinClinical Cancer Research 14(11):3278-82 · June 2008with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 8.72 · DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-4171 · Source: PubMed


    Dysfunction of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) complex is essential to the growth and development of many human tumors. Overexpression of the EGF receptor (EGFR) is a characteristic finding in a considerable number of solid tumors and often signalizes poor prognosis. There is a major disagreement among researchers about both the frequency and possible clinical importance of EGFR overexpression in ovarian cancer. The type III variant of EGFR (EGFRvIII) is a mutant with a deletion. Contrary to the wild-type, it is constitutively active. EGFRvIII has not been found in normal tissue, and consequently, it is an attractive tumor-specific candidate for molecular targeted treatment. The literature dealing with this mutation in ovarian cancer has been very sparse.
    Tissue from 225 patients who underwent surgery for a pelvic mass was collected consecutively. The samples included 99 ovarian/peritoneal/tuba cancers, 17 ovarian borderline tumors, 66 benign ovarian tumors, 15 other cancer types, 24 normal ovarian biopsies, and 4 miscellaneous. The presence of EGFRvIII was investigated both by PCR analyses for EGFRvIII gene expression and with protein analysis by Western blots.
    None of the tissue samples was positive for the EGFRvIII mutation neither at the mRNA level nor at the protein level.
    The EGFRvIII mutation seems to be very rare in ovarian tissue. Our data indicate that EGFRvIII is not a part of the malignant phenotype in ovarian cancer and should not be pursued as a therapeutic target for treatment of this disease.