Prognostic Significance of EGFR Gene Amplification and Overexpression in Diffuse Astrocytomas—A Literature Study


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been shown to play an important role in the malignant progression of diffuse astrocytomas. Numerous studies have investigated the clinical significance of overexpression and amplification of the EGFR gene in these tumours with ambiguous results. The aim of this study was therefore to review the literature to get the current prognostic and diagnostic status. The PubMed database was used to search for papers in English in the time period 1987-2010 using the following keywords: astrocytoma, glioma, c-erbB1, EGFR, glioblastoma, HER1 and prognosis. Other inclusion criteria were: 1) studies with more than 50 patients; 2) patient age over 18 years; 3) tumour grading according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) classification (2007) and 4) EGFR overexpression assessed by immunohistochemistry. A total of 47 publications were included and several reported positive correlations between both EGFR gene amplification and overexpression with histological malignancy grade and survival. The results are, however, encumbered with elements of uncertainty involving for instance methodological diversities and small number of patients. Larger studies with standardized procedures are necessary to fully clarify the clinical role of EGFR in human astrocytomas.

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K. Winje Hagen and S. Helge Torp, "Prognostic Significance of EGFR Gene Amplification and Overexpression in Diffuse Astrocytomas—A Literature Study," Open Journal of Pathology, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 71-80. doi: 10.4236/ojpathology.2012.23014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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