Epidermal-growth-factor receptors and oestrogen receptors in human breast cancer

Lancet. 1985 Feb 16;1(8425):364-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)91385-6.


Competitive binding and monoclonal antibody staining techniques were used to demonstrate high-affinity (Kd = 1.9 nmol/l) receptors for epidermal growth factor (EGF) in 35 of 104 primary human breast tumours and in 10 of 14 secondary lymph-node deposits. There was a significant inverse relation between the presence of EGF receptors and the presence of oestrogen receptors in the primary tumours (p less than 0.01), and EGF receptors were found in a greater proportion of metastases than primary tumours (p less than 0.01). These results suggest that the presence of EGF receptors is associated with metastatic potential and that the growth of a proportion of poor-prognosis oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours may be regulated by peptide growth factors interacting with the EGF receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • ErbB Receptors