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Prognostic significance of Epidermal Growth factor receptor in colon cancer patients on surgical treatment

Emil Kanchev, Georgi Kobakov, Kiril Kirov, Daniel Yankov, Petya Koleva, Snezhana Vicheva, Daniel Kostov, Nikolay Georgiev, Zdravko Dimitrov, Yordan Borisov


Recently, pathological expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is increasingly used in the diagnosis of various epidermal tumours. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of EGFR in comparison to p53 as a prognostic marker in patients with colon cancer who undergo surgical treatment.

Two types of immunohistochemical examinations (for EGFR and p53) have been performed in 120 patients with colon cancer histologically verified by using of hematoxylin-eosin staining.

Our results clearly demonstrate that EGFR expression is present in 18 patients (in 15% of the cases). It occurs much more often in the patient with TNM stage II and especially in those with TNM stage III and relatively more frequently in the patients aged between 51 and 70 years and presenting with a moderately differentiated tumour. Besides, this expression immediately relates to a recurrence of the disease and worsened clinical course. There exists a correlation between the enhanced expression of EGFR and that of p53. Because of the small sample, our results are not statistically significant.

EGFR can serve as an independent prognostic factor and indicator of more common recurrences of the disease, worse quality of life and poorer prognosis in colon cancer patients. Further intensive collaboration between coloproctologists and pathologists is needed to improve the individualized surgical behaviour in such patients.


oncogenic proteins; epidermal growth factor receptor. p53; colon cancer; prognosis

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