The aim of this study is to assess the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and c-erbB2 and their correlation with human papillomavirus (HPV) status and prognosis in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. The expression of EGFR and c-erbB2 was studied at the protein level using the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining method, at the RNA level using the ribonuclease protection assay and at the DNA level using Southern blot and hybridization method. One hundred and one patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix were recruited. Fifty-one patients were of stage 1B/2A and 50 patients were of stage 2B and above. Positive IHC stainings of EGFR and c-erbB2 proteins were found in 74.2 and 19.8% of cases, respectively. DNA amplifications of EGFR and c-erbB2 genes were detected in 35.4 and 17.2%, respectively. Of the patients showing positive EGFR and c-erbB2 staining, only 39.2 and 25%, respectively, showed DNA amplifications. RNA overexpression of EGFR or c-erbB2 was only detected in 2% of cervical cancers and was associated with positive staining and DNA amplifications. HPV was detected in 79.2% of the cases by HPV consensus primers L1, in 57.4% for HPV 16 and 27.7% for HPV 18. The abnormal expression of EGFR and c-erbB2 had no correlation with HPV detection and had no prognostic significance on survival.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel.