Earlier studies have demonstrated an unexplained depletion of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein expression in prostatic cancer. We now attribute this phenomenon to the presence of a variant EGFR (EGFRvIII) that is highly expressed in malignant prostatic neoplasms. In a retrospective study, normal, benign hyperplastic and malignant prostatic tissues were examined at the mRNA and protein levels for the presence of this mutant receptor. The results demonstrated that whilst EGFRvIII was not present in normal prostatic glands, the level of expression of this variant protein increased progressively with the gradual transformation of the tissues to the malignant phenotype. The selective association of high EGFRvIII levels with the cancer phenotype underlines the role that this mutant receptor may maintain in the initiation and progression of malignant prostatic growth, and opens the way for new approaches in the management of this disease including gene therapy.