Transforming growth factor alpha and epidermal growth factor levels in bladder cancer and their relationship to epidermal growth factor receptor

Br J Cancer. 1996 Mar;73(5):654-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1996.114.


We have examined levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) in neoplastic and non-neoplastic bladder tissue using a standard radioimmunoassay technique. Tumour samples had much higher TGF-alpha levels compared with EGF and TGF-alpha levels in malignant tissue were significantly higher than in benign bladder samples. There was, in addition, a difference in mean EGF levels from 'normal' bladder samples from non-tumour bearing areas of bladder in patients with bladder cancer compared with 'normal' bladder tissue obtained at the time of organ retrieval surgery. Levels of EGF and TGF-alpha did not correlate with levels of EGF receptor (EGFR) as determined by a radioligand binding method but levels of TGF-alpha > 10 ng gm-1 of tumour tissue did correlate with EGFR positivity defined using immunohistochemistry. These data suggest that TGF-alpha is the likely ligand for EGFR in bladder tumours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Epidermal Growth Factor / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / analysis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemistry*


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