Epidermal growth factor receptor: an independent predictor of survival in astrocytic tumors given definitive irradiation

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Mar 1;34(4):809-15. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(95)02184-1.


Purpose: To determine whether the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein was predictive of patient survival independently of other prognostic factors in astrocytic tumors.

Methods and materials: Epidermal growth factor receptor protein expression was investigated immunohistochemically in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of 55 glioblastoma multiforme, 14 anaplastic astrocytoma, and 2 astrocytomas given definitive irradiation. We evaluated the relationship of EGFR protein expression and tumor grade, histologic features, age at diagnosis, sex, patient survival, and recurrence-free survival.

Results: The percentage of tumor cells which were EGFR positive related to reduced survival by Cox regression analysis in both univariate (p = 0.0424) and multivariate analysis (p = 0.0016). Epidermal growth factor receptor positivity was the only 1 of 11 clinical and histological variables associated with decreased recurrence-free survival by either univariate (p = 0.0353) or multivariate (p=0.0182) analysis. Epidermal growth factor receptor protein expression was not related to patient age, sex, or histologic features.

Conclusion: Epidermal growth factor receptor positivity was a significant and independent prognostic indicator for overall survival and recurrence-free survival for irradiated patients with astrocytic gliomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / chemistry*
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Astrocytoma / radiotherapy
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cytoplasm / chemistry
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / chemistry*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioblastoma / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • ErbB Receptors