Coexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor and ligands in human pancreatic cancer is associated with enhanced tumor aggressiveness

Anticancer Res. May-Jun 1993;13(3):565-9.


Immunohistochemical analysis for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), EGF and transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) was performed in 87 human pancreatic carcinomas. Expression frequencies for EGFR, EGF, and TGF-alpha were 43%, 46% and 54%, respectively. Coexpression of the receptor and at least one of its ligands occurred in 38% of the tumors, and correlated with large tumor size, advanced clinical staging, and decreased survival period. In situ hybridization revealed that the respective mRNAs were also overexpressed in the carcinomas. These findings suggest that coexpression of EGFR and its ligands may contribute to the aggressiveness of human pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / chemistry
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / analysis*


  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors