Impact of epidermal growth factor receptor expression on disease-free survival and rate of pelvic relapse in patients with advanced cancer of the cervix treated with chemoradiotherapy

Am J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug;34(4):395-400. doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e3181e84634.


Objectives: To determine the impact of the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on disease-free survival (DFS) and on pelvic relapse in patients with advanced cancer of the cervix receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy.

Methods: In 112 consecutive patients with advanced cancer of the cervix (11 stage IB2-IIA, 25 IIB, 63 IIIB, 13 IVA) treated with chemoradiotherapy between December 1994 and September 2004, the expression of EGFR using histoimmunochemistry was measured and used in univariate and multivariate analysis, along with variables such as age, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Staging System for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (FIGO) stage, histology, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), tumor size, and ganglia involvement diagnosed with computerized axial tomography, treatment with cisplatin to evaluate its impact on DFS and pelvic relapse.

Results: Of the 112 biopsies, 32 (28.6%) were negative or slightly positive (EGFR±) and 80 (71.4%) were moderate or intensely positive (EGFR++/+++). The overexpression of EGFR (++/+++) was significantly associated with an epidermoid histology (P < 0.0001), with a higher rate of pelvis relapse and a decreased DFS (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.31 [1.08-4.96]; P = 0.03). Overall, treatment with cisplatin increased DFS (HR: 0.51 [0.26-0.97]; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Patients with tumors of the cervix and overexpression of the EGFR++/+++ show a higher probability of pelvic relapses and a decreased disease-free survival. The poor prognosis of these tumors may be a consequence of an increase in radio-resistance.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brachytherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Adenosquamous / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Adenosquamous / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Adenosquamous / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / secondary
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / secondary
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cisplatin