Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in breast cancer: association with response to endocrine therapy

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1994 Jan;29(1):117-25. doi: 10.1007/BF00666187.


106 previously untreated breast cancer patients have been immunohistochemically analysed for EGF-R, ER, Ki67, and c-erbB-2 product. All patients received assessable endocrine therapy following disease progression. Significant associations were observed between EGF-R and ER (inverse) and Ki67 (direct). No association was observed between EGF-R and the c-erbB-2 product. EGF-R expression was significantly associated with the loss of endocrine sensitivity in breast cancer. This was observed in both ER positive and negative disease. In ER positive breast cancers, EGF-R expression had no significant influence on the quality of tumour remissions. Further sub-classification of the ER/EGF-R data by Ki67 immunostaining showed that in ER+/EGF-R-disease, increasing proportions of Ki67 positive cells were associated with a decline in the numbers of women experiencing good quality tumour remissions. A similar trend was also observed in ER+/EGF-R+ tumours. The presence of c-erbB-2 protein product did not influence endocrine sensitivity in any of the ER/EGF-R sub-groups.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Goserelin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Megestrol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Megestrol / therapeutic use
  • Megestrol Acetate
  • Menopause
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Postmenopause
  • Premenopause
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Tamoxifen
  • Goserelin
  • Megestrol
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Megestrol Acetate