Gene amplification of int-2 and erbB in human esophageal cancer: relationship to clinicopathological variables

Cancer Invest. 1997;15(5):411-5. doi: 10.3109/07357909709047579.


Gene amplification is a relatively frequent event in human malignant tumors and is believed to play an important role in tumor progression. The int-2 and erbB genes are amplified more frequently than any other genes in human esophageal cancer. In order to investigate the correlation between these two proto-oncogenes and the clinical behavior of esophageal cancer, we examined DNA amplification of int-2 and erbB and analyzed their relationship to clinicopathological variables. Genomic DNA was extracted from 21 esophageal squamous carcinomas and normal esophageal mucosa, as well as from 4 metastatic tumors. We used Southern blot analysis for detection of gene amplification. Amplification of int-2 was observed in 13 of 21 cases (62%) and in all the metastatic tumors (4/4; 100%). We found a significant correlation between amplification of int-2 and the length of the primary lesion. Amplification of erbB was detected in 3 of 18 patients (17%). All patients who showed amplification of erbB also demonstrated amplification of int-2. These results suggest that amplification of int-2 or neighboring genes on 11q may participate in tumor progression and metastasis in patients with esophageal squamous cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 3
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, erbB-2*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • FGF3 protein, human
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 3
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors