EGFR as a prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in ovarian cancer: Evaluation of patient cohort and literature review

Christine Mehner, Ann L. Oberg, Krista M. Goergen, Kimberly R. Kalli, Matthew J. Maurer, Aziza Nassar, Ellen L. Goode, Gary L. Keeney, Aminah Jatoi, Derek C. Radisky, Evette S. Radisky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Limited effectiveness of therapeutic agents targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in clinical trials using unselected ovarian cancer patients has prompted efforts to more effectively stratify patients who might best benefit from these therapies. A series of studies that have evaluated immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of EGFR in ovarian cancer biopsies has produced unclear results as to the utility of this measure as a prognostic biomarker. Here, we used one of the largest, single institution cohorts to date to determine possible associations of EGFR expression with patient outcome. Methods: We performed IHC staining of EGFR in tissue microarrays including nearly 500 patient tumor samples. Staining was classified by subcellular localization (membranous, cytoplasmic) or by automated image analysis algorithms. We also performed a literature review to place these results in the context of previous studies. Results: No significant associations were found between EGFR subcellular localization or expression and histology, stage, grade, or outcome. These results were broadly consistent with the consensus of the reviewed literature. Conclusions: These results suggest that IHC staining for EGFR may not be a useful prognostic biomarker for ovarian cancer patients. Future studies should pursue other staining methods or analysis in combination with other pathway mediators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-599
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Cancer
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2017


  • EGFR
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prognostic biomarker
  • Tissue microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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