Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) polymorphisms and survival in head and neck cancer patients

Oral Oncol. 2007 Aug;43(7):713-9. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2006.09.002. Epub 2006 Nov 16.


EGFR overexpression has been implicated in the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This study evaluates the prognostic ability of four polymorphisms in EGFR gene for patients diagnosed with HNSCC and treated with chemoradiation. EGFR polymorphisms in the promoter region were not associated with clinical or pathological characteristics. In relation to R497K polymorphism, patients with the Arg/Arg genotype showed the highest risk of disease-specificity mortality and none of the patients with the Lys/Lys genotype died throughout the follow-up period of the study. Patients with (CA)(n) repeats <17 in both alleles tended toward inferior overall survival compared with those with (CA)(n) repeats > or = 17 in both alleles (p=0.07). Moreover, the distribution of patients with any (CA)(n) repeats > or = 17 and both alleles <17 was statistically different across patients who were recorded as having partial response or no response to therapy (p=0.034). Combination analysis of both polymorphisms, (CA)(n) repeats and R497K, suggests that these polymorphisms may be associated with clinical outcome in patients treated with chemoradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • ErbB Receptors