The epidermal growth factor receptor in glioblastoma: genomic amplification, protein expression, and patient survival data in a therapeutic trial

Clin Neuropathol. May-Jun 1995;14(3):169-74.


Human glioblastomas were evaluated for overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in a therapeutic trial with the anti-EGFR antibody EMD 55900. A total of 55 cases were examined by immunohistochemistry using 4 different monoclonal antibodies on frozen or on paraffin sections: EGFR-1 (Amersham), E 62 (Merck), E 30 (Merck), and EMD 55900 (MAB 425, Merck). Definition for inclusion in clinical trials of EMD 55900 was an immunohistochemical overexpression of grade 4+ or 3+ in a scale of 4 grades of staining quality. The use of the 4 different antibodies gave essentially equal results. In 21 cases, the immunohistochemical results were supplemented by molecular genetic analysis of EGFR amplification on the corresponding locus of chromosome 7, using frozen tissue from the same blocks after screening for vital tumor areas. Since no other material was available, the differential polymerase chain reaction technique was applied. Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) served as a reference gene. In a preliminary experimental series with cases of known EGFR amplification, a densitometric EGFR/IFN-gamma ratio higher than 3 was determined as indicator for amplification of the EGFR gene. With this experimental approach we were able to identify an amplified EGFR gene in 13 specimens including 2 from recurrent glioblastomas in the same patients. All of these showed an increased immunoreactivity for EGFR protein. The degree of EGFR amplification (EGFR/IFN-gamma ratio as measured by DNA densitometry) showed a positive correlation with the grade of immunohistochemical protein expression, both in regard to the fraction of positive cells and to the overall staining intensity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Glioblastoma / chemistry*
  • Glioblastoma / genetics
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Survival Rate


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors