Archives of oto-rhino-laryngology

, Volume 246, Issue 3, pp 121–125 | Cite as

The expression of epidermal growth factor receptors in the oral mucosa of patients with oral cancer

  • W. Bergler
  • H. Bier
  • U. Ganzer
Original Investigations


Representative tumor samples and mucosal samples were taken from three different groups of patients and were stained immunohistochemically for their expressions of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR). Patients in group 1 had oral squamous carcinoma, with specimens taken from the tumor as well as from the mucosa without tumor invasion. Patients in group 2 had no evidence of tumor but had heavy drinking and smoking habits. Tumor-free patients who do not drink or smoke served as the control group. The findings in the present study showed that the tumor and mucosal samples from groups 1 and 2 had increased EGFR expression while the control group showed significantly less EGFR. These results suggest that EGFR may play a role in the development of premalignant tissue changes, which are probably influenced by chronic toxic irritation.

Key words

Epidermal growth factor receptor Oral cancer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Carpenter G (1983) The biochemistry and physiology of the receptor-kinase for epidermal growth factor. Mol Cell Endocrinol 31:1–19Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carpenter G, Cohen S (1979) Epidermal growth factor. Annu Rev Biochem 48:193–216Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cohen S (1962) Isolation of a mouse submaxillary gland protein accelerating incisor eruption and eyelid opening in the new-born animals. J Biol Chem 237:1555–1562Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cohen S, Carpenter G (1975) Human epidermal growth factor: isolation and chemical and biological properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci 72:1317–1321Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cordell IL, Falini B, Erber WN (1984) Immunoenzymatic labelling of monoclonal antibodies using immune complexes of alkaline phosphatase and monoclonal anti-alkaline phosphatase (APAAP) complexes. J Histochem Cytochem 32:219–224Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cowley G, Smith JA, Gusterson B, Hendler F, Ozanna B (1984) The amount of EGF receptor is elevated on squamous cell carcinomas. In: Levine AJ (ed) Cancer cells, vol 1. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, pp 5–10Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Downward J, Yarden Y, Mayes E (1984) Close similarity of epidermal growth factor receptor and v-erb-B oncogene protein sequences. Nature 307:521–527Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Downward J, Parker P, Waterfiled MD (1984) Autophosphorylation sites on the epidermal growth factor receptor. Nature 311:483–485Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fritzpatrick SL, Brightwell J, Wittlift JL, Barrows GH, Schulz GS (1984) Characterization of epidermal growth factor receptor and action on human breast cancer cells in culture. Cancer Res 44:3442–3447Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fujita J, Yoshida O, Yuasa Y, Rhim JS, Hatanaka M, Aaronson SA (1984) H-ras onocgenes are activated by somatic alterations in human urinary tract tumours. Nature 309:464–468Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goustin AS, Leof EB, Shipley GD, Moses HL (1986) Growth factors and cancer. Cancer Res 46:1015–1029Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gullick WJ, Downward J (1985) Antibodies to the autophosphorylation sites of the epidermal growth factor protein-tyrosine kinase as probes of structure and function. EMBO J 4:2869–2874Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gullick WJ, Marsden JJ, Whittle M, Ward B, Bobrow L, Waterfield MD (1986) Expression of epidermal growth factor receptors on human cervical, ovarian and vulval carcinomas. Cancer Res 46:285–292Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gusterson B, Cowley G, Smith JA, Ozanne B (1985) Evidence of increased epidermal growth factor receptors in human sarcomas. Int J Cancer 36:689–693Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hendler F, Ozanne B (1984) Human squamous cell lung cancers express increased epidermal growth factor receptors. J Clin Invest 74:647–651Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kaplan PL, Anderson M, Ozanne B (1982) Transforming growth factor production enables cells to grow in the absence of serum: an autocrine system. Proc Natl Acad Sci 79:485–489Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Libermann TA, Rason N, Bartal AD, Yarden Y, Schlessinger J, Soveq H (1984) Expression of epidermal growth factor receptors in human brain tumors. Cancer Res 44: 753–760Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Libermann TA, Nusbaum HR, Rason N (1984) Amplification, enhanced expression and possible rearrangement of EGF receptor gene in primary human brain tumours of glial origin. Nature 313:144–147Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Malone PR, Visvanathan KV, Ponder BA, Shearer RJ, Summerhaves IC (1985) Oncogenes and bladder cancer. Br J Urol 57:664–668Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Merlino GY, Xu S, Ishii A (1984) Amplification and enhanced expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene in A 431 human carcinoma cells. Science 224:417–419Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Neal DE, Marsh C, Bennett MK (1985) Epidermalgrowth-factor receptors in human bladder cancer: comparison of invasive and superficial tumours. Lancet I:366–368Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Olofsson B, Pizon V, Zahraoui A, Ravitian A, Therwath A (1986) Structure and expression of the chicken epidermal growth factor receptor gene locus. Eur J Biochem 160: 261–265Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ozanne B, Shum A, Richards CS (1985) Evidence for an increase of EGF receptors in epidermoid malignancies. In: Feramisco J (ed) Cancer cells, vol 3. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, pp 41–49Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Perez R, Pascual M, Macias A, Lage A (1984) Epidermal growth factor receptors in human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 4:189–193Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sainsbury JRC, Farndon JR, Sherbet GV, Harris AL (1985) Epidermal-growth-factor receptors and oestrogen receptors in human breast cancer. Lancet I:364–366Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schlessinger J, Schreiber AB, Levi A, Lax I, Libermann T, Yarden Y (1983) Regulation of cell proliferation by epidermal growth factor. Crit Rev Biochem 14:93–111Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Slamon DJ, Clark GM, Wong SG, Levin WJ, Ullrich A, McGuire WL (1987) Human breast cancer: correlation of relapse and survival with amplification of the HER-2/neu oncogene. Science 235:177–181Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ullrich A, Coussens L, Hayflick JS, Dull TJ, Grey A, Tam AWI, Lee J, Yarden Y, Libermann TA, Schlessinger J, Downward J, Mayes EL, Whittle M, Waterfield MD, Seeburg PH (1984) Human epidermal growth factor receptor DNA sequence and aberrant expression of the amplified gene in A 431 epidermoid carcinoma cells. Nature 309: 418–425Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Veale D, Ashcroft T, Marsh C, Gibson OJ, Harris AL (1987) Epidermal growth factor receptors in non-small cell lung cancer. Br J Cancer 55:513–516Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vries M de, Waal I van der, Snow GB (1986) Multiple primary tumours in oral cancer. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 15:85–87Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yamamoto T, Nishida T, Miyajima N, Kawai S, Ooi T, Toyoshima K (1983) The erb B gene of avian erythroblastosis virus is a member of the src gene family. Cell 35:193–216Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Yamamoto T, Kamata M, Kawano H (1986) High incidence of amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene in human squamous carcinoma cell lines. Cancer Res 46:414–416Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Bergler
    • 1
  • H. Bier
    • 1
  • U. Ganzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Klinikum MannheimUniversity of HeidelbergMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations