EGFR and EGFRvIII analysis in glioblastoma as therapeutic biomarkers

Claire Faulkner, Abigail Palmer, Hannah R Williams, Christopher Wragg, Harry R Haynes, Paul White, Ruth-Mary DeSouza, Maggie Williams, Kirsten Hopkins, Kathreena M Kurian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. EGFR and EGFRvIII analysis is of current interest because of new EGFRvIII vaccine trials opened in the UK. EGFR activation promotes cellular proliferation via activation of MAPK and PI3K-Akt pathways. EGFRvIII is the most common variant resulting from an in-frame deletion of 801bp, leading to constitutively active EGFR. Method. 51 glioblastoma samples from a cohort of 50 patients were tested for EGFR amplification by FISH and immunohistochemistry and EGFRvIII expression by reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry. EGFR and EGFRvIII expression was compared with Overall Survival in the cohort. Results. Overall 22/51 samples (43%) were positive for EGFR, 16/51 (31%) were positive for EGFRvIII and 13/51 (25%) were positive for both. 9/51 cases (18%) were positive for EGFR alone, and 3/51 (6%) were positive for EGFRvIII alone. Of the EGFR positive cases, 22/51 (43%) were positive by FISH, 24/51 (47%) were positive by IHC and 2/51 (4%) were discrepant between methods (positive by IHC but non-amplified by FISH). Of the EGFRvIII positive cases, 16/51 (31%) were positive by RT-PCR, 17/51 (33%) were positive by IHC and 1/51 (2%) sample was discrepant (positive by IHC but not by RT-PCR). Neither EGFRvIII or EGFR are predictive of overall survival in this cohort. Conclusion. In our cohort, 25/51 (49%) of GBM showed EGFR alterations, including 16/51 (31%) with EGFRvIII. There was high concordance between IHC and FISH (96%) and IHC and RT-PCR (98%) as diagnostic methods. Neither EGFR or EGFRvIII is predictive of overall survival in this cohort. These results are key for selecting patients for novel individualised anti-EGFR therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2014

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