Are heterogenous results of EGFR immunoreactivity in renal cell carcinoma related to non-standardised criteria for staining evaluation?

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Abstract

Aims:

To assess whether heterogeneity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) immunoreactivity in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is related to non-standardised criteria for staining evaluation.

Methods:

EGFR expression was investigated in 132 primary and 55 metastatic conventional RCCs using a tissue microarray technique.

Results:

Overall, membranous and/or cytoplasmic EGFR immunostaining was present in 123 of 132 (93%) primary and 49 of 53 (92%) metastatic RCCs, with extensive immunoreactivity (> 50% of tumour cells) in 110 of 132 (83%) primary tumours and 39 of 53 (73%) metastases. Cytoplasmic staining was associated with high tumour stage and high tumour grade. In addition, strong membranous staining (score 3+) prevailed in high grade RCCs. Cytoplasmic immunostaining was associated with an unfavourable prognosis, whereas overall (cytoplasmic and membranous) immunoreactivity and intensity of membranous staining were not.

Conclusions:

Different methods of immunohistochemical evaluation led to different results, strengthening the need for standardisation, especially against a background of rapidly evolving EGFR targeted cancer treatment strategies.

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