Background: To evaluate the expression pattern and prognostic significance of the type 1 growth factor receptor (T1GFR) family in colon carcinoma.
Methods: Tissue microarrays were constructed using 127 tumor samples and 47 metastatic lymph nodes and T1GFR family expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. Univariate and multivariate analyses examined clinicopathologic variables for prognostic significance, and the correlation between primary and lymph node expression was determined by Spearman correlation.
Results: Overexpression of HER-1, HER-2, HER-3, and HER-4 in tumor samples was 32%, 1%, 12%, and 37%, respectively, and 30%, 0%, 11%, and 24% in nodal samples, respectively. On multivariate analysis, positive margins, lymphatic invasion, and HER-3 expression were significant predictors of survival outcome. There was significant correlation between tumor and regional lymph node expression for the T1GFR family members. Tumor HER-3 expression was associated with lymphatic invasion and distant recurrence.
Conclusions: Tumor HER-3 expression has prognostic utility in individuals with colon carcinoma. Correlation between tumor and lymph node expression of T1GFR family members suggests that tumor receptor status may guide targeted therapy selection.