Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in esophageal adenocarcinoma: relationship with tumor stage and survival after esophagectomy

Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2012;2012:941954. doi: 10.1155/2012/941954. Epub 2012 Jun 26.


Background and Aims. Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) is an aggressive tumor with increasing incidence in occidental countries. Several prognostic biomarkers have been proposed, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The aim of this study was to assess whether EGFR expression predicts EA staging and patient survival. Methods. In this historical cohort, consecutive patients with EA managed between 2000 and 2010 were considered eligible for the study. Surgical specimens of patients treated with transhiatal esophagectomy were evaluated to establish EGFR expression and tumor differentiation. Staging was classified according with tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) system. Survival was determined according to either medical register or patient's family contact. Results. Thirty-seven patients who underwent esophagectomy without presurgical chemotherapy or radiotherapy were studied. EGFR expression was found in 16 patients (43%). EGFR expression was more frequent as higher was the TNM (I and II = 0% versus III = 47% versus IV = 100%; P < 0.001). Average survival in months was significantly shorter in the group of patients with EGFR expression (10.5 versus 21.7; P = 0.001). Conclusions. In patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma treated with transhiatal esophagectomy, EGFR expression was related to higher TNM staging and shorter survival. EGFR expression might be assumed as a prognostic marker for esophageal adenocarcinoma.