Expression of epidermal growth factor and androgen receptors in ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 1997 Aug;66(2):250-4. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1997.4764.


Ovarian cancer is the second most common malignancy of the female reproductive tract. Approximately 50% of ovarian cancers have elevated levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This overexpression is correlated with a poor prognosis for patient survival. Ovarian cancers also express a number of sex steroid receptors. The androgen receptor (AR) is the predominant sex steroid receptor and is expressed in over 80% of ovarian cancers. We investigated whether a relationship exists between EGFR and AR in ovarian cancer. Sixty serous cystadenocarcinomas were analyzed for their relative levels of EGFR and AR by Western blot analysis. Data were analyzed by Student's t test and linear regression analysis for statistical significance. More than 98% of the tumors expressed detectable levels of EGFR, while 65% of the tumors expressed detectable levels of AR. The levels of EGFR (mean +/- SEM) were found to be significantly (P < 0.01) higher in AR+ (516 +/- 15) than in AR- (304 +/- 57) tumors. EGFR levels significantly correlated to AR levels (r = 0.49, P < 0.001). These results demonstrate an association between EGFR and AR levels in ovarian cancer. Whether this association represents a causal or a casual relationship remains to be determined.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Androgen / biosynthesis*


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Epidermal Growth Factor