Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) analysis by traditional immunohistochemistry does not provide clinicians with a reliable tool for the selection of patients to EGFR-targeted treatment in colorectal cancer (CRC). Alternative methods and further understanding of the EGFR signaling network are being investigated and mutations in the EGFR gene have been identified. The type III epidermal growth factor receptor, a tumour-specific, ligand independent, constitutively activated form of EGFR, might contribute to the malignant phenotype in CRC and may be a potential target for anticancer therapy. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of EGFRvIII in CRC by PCR and protein analysis.
Materials and methods: The study included 79 colorectal cancer patients for PCR analysis and 50 patients for protein analysis by Western blots, in two different laboratories.
Results: No type III mutations were detected in our material.
Conclusion: The EGFRvIII mutations are rare in colorectal adenocarcinomas and overall probability does not appear to contribute to the malignant phenotype of this disease.