Expression profiles of ErbB family receptors and prognosis in primary transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder

Nan-Haw Chow, Shih-Huang Chan, T. S. Tzai, Chung-Liang Ho, Hsiao-Sheng Liu

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211 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro experiments have demonstrated that epidermal growth factor (EGF)-related peptides activate distinct subsets of ErbB receptors and differ in their biological activities. The implications of cross-talk among ErbB family receptors in human cancer, however, remain to be clarified. This cohort study was performed to examine the expression patterns of ErbB receptors by immunohistochemistry in primary human bladder cancer (n = 245) and compared with conventional biological indicators for their prognostic significance. Expression of individual EGF receptor (EGFR) and ErbB2, ErbB3, or ErbB4 receptors was detected in 72.2, 44.5, 56.3, and 29.8% of bladder cancer cases, respectively. Expression of two of the receptors varied from 14.7 to 42.4%, of three of the receptors between 11.0 and 22.0%, and of all four of the ErbB receptors by 8.6%. Important indicators in association with patient survival were tumor staging (P = 0.017), ErbB2 (P = 0.018), EGFR-ErbB2 (P = 0.023), and ErbB2-ErbB3 (P = 0.042). In the subset of grade-2 tumors, EGFR-ErbB2-ErbB3 and EGFR-ErbB2 predicted the development of second recurrence (P = 0.026 and 0.039, respectively), and ErbB2-ErbB3 tended to correlate with patient survival (P = 0.09). The results indicate that a combination of EGFR, ErbB2, and ErbB3 expression profile may be a better prognostic indicator than any family member alone. Given that ErbB2 is the preferred coexpression partner of ErbB family members, expression of other ErbB receptors may significantly affect the prognostic implication of ErbB2 for bladder cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1957-1962
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Nov 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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