International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 01 August 2013, Vol.86(5), pp.901-907
To investigate the prognostic value of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression in pretreatment tumor biopsy specimens of patients with anal cancer treated with concurrent 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C-based chemoradiation therapy (CRT). Immunohistochemical staining for EGFR was performed in pretreatment biopsy specimens of 103 patients with anal carcinoma. EGFR expression was correlated with clinical and histopathologic characteristics and with clinical endpoints, including local failure-free survival (LFFS), colostomy-free survival (CFS), distant metastases-free survival (DMFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS). EGFR staining intensity was absent in 3%, weak in 23%, intermediate in 36% and intense in 38% of the patients. In univariate analysis, the level of EGFR staining was significantly correlated with CSS (absent/weak vs intermediate/intense expression: 5-year CSS, 70% vs 86%, =.03). As a trend, this was also observed for DMFS (70% vs 86%, =.06) and LFFS (70% vs 87%, =.16). In multivariate analysis, N stage, tumor differentiation, and patients’ sex were independent prognostic factors for CSS, whereas EGFR expression only reached borderline significance (hazard ratio 2.75; =.08). Our results suggest that elevated levels of pretreatment EGFR expression could be correlated with favorable clinical outcome in anal cancer patients treated with CRT. Further studies are warranted to elucidate how EGFR is involved in the response to CRT.
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