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High levels of EGFR expression in tumor stroma are associated with aggressive clinical features in epithelial ovarian cancer

Authors Wang K, Li D, Sun L

Received 13 September 2015

Accepted for publication 28 November 2015

Published 19 January 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 377—386


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Manfred Beleut

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniele Santini

Ke Wang, Dan Li, Lu Sun

Department of Gynecologic Cancer, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance and biological function of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressed in tumor stroma of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Methods: Immunohistological staining of EGFR was evaluated in 242 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. The correlations of EGFR expression in tumor stroma with clinicopathological features and with the expression level of Ki-67 were analyzed by SPSS software. Kaplan–Meier analysis and the Cox proportional hazard model were used to analyze the effect of EGFR expression in tumor stroma on the prognosis of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Meanwhile, the activities of proliferation and migration of tumor cells were detected when EGFR overexpressed in stroma cells.
Results: EGFR expression in tumor stroma correlated significantly with clinical stage (χ2=7.002, P=0.008) and distant metastases (χ2=16.59, P<0.001). Furthermore, there was a significantly positive correlation between the level of EGFR expressed in tumor stroma and the level of Ki-67 expressed in tumor cells (χ2=6.120, P=0.013). Patients with high EGFR expression level in tumor stroma showed poor survival (P=0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that high expression of EGFR in tumor stroma was an independent predictor for epithelial ovarian cancer patients (hazard ratio =1.703; 95% confidence interval 1.125–2.578, P=0.012). Furthermore, stroma cells overexpressing EGFR could promote the proliferation and migration of adjacent tumor cells.
Conclusion: High expression of EGFR in tumor stroma correlates with aggressive clinical features in epithelial ovarian cancer, and is an independent prognostic factor.

Keywords: EGFR, epithelial ovarian cancer, tumor stroma, clinical features, overall survival, prognostic factor

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