Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in primary laryngeal cancer: an independent prognostic factor of neck node relapse

Int J Cancer. 1999 Apr 20;84(2):188-91. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19990420)84:2<188::aid-ijc16>3.0.co;2-1.


Specimens of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) were examined for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) content using a radioreceptor method; 140 untreated consecutive patients with primary LSCC undergoing initial surgical resection were followed up for a median of 49 months (range 2-84 months) after surgery. Cox univariate regression analysis using EGFR as a continuous variable showed that EGFR levels were directly associated with the risk of lymph node metastasis. A significant relationship between EGFR status and cervical node metastasis was observed. The cutoff value of 20 fmol/mg protein was the best prognostic discriminator. The 5-year metastasis-free survival (MFS) was 66% for patients with EGFR- tumors compared with 15% for patients with EGFR+ tumors. By multivariate analysis, the EGFR status appeared to be a significant independent prognostic factor for MFS. Our results suggest that the assessment of EGFR status at the time of diagnosis may identify a subset of LSCC patients highly susceptible to neck node metastases thus defining therapy accordingly.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis


  • ErbB Receptors