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Innere Medizin 1. März 2009

The expression of EGFR, HER2 and EpCam in Head and Neck squamous cell carcinomas

PURPOSE: Head and Neck squamous cell carcinomas show an increasing incidence and make up to 5% of all malignancies. In this work three cell surface proteins are investigated, which could be possible targets in currently arising tailored cancer treatment: Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCam), the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, c-erbB-1 or HER1) and HER2/neu (c-erbB-2). MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, specimens from 114 histologically verified squamous cell carcinoma of pharynx and oral cavity were analysed. The surface proteins were tested with pharmacodiagnostic kits. RESULTS: With 44.7% (51/114) EGFR was found to be overexpressed most frequently in this cohort. A usable distribution for EpCam and nearly lacking of HER2 was shown in 22.8% (26/114) and 3.5 % (4/114), respectively. CONCLUSION: These data show that EGFR and EpCam might have a relevant role for the biology of this disease. Its relevance for a therapeutic application cannot yet be concluded.

V. H. Schartinger, J. Schmutzhard, M. Wurm, I. M. Schwentner, P. Obrist, W. Oberaigner, G. M. Sprinzl, memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 1/2009

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