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Expression of EGFR and c-kit is associated with the basal-like phenotype in breast carcinomas of African women

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Nalwoga H, Arnes JB, Wabinga H, Akslen LA. Expression of EGFR and c-kit is associated with the basal-like phenotype in breast carcinomas of African women. APMIS 2008;116:515–25.

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and c-kit are tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors which are frequently expressed in basal-like breast carcinomas, and tyrosine kinase inhibition is now a promising strategy in treatment of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of EGFR and c-kit in breast cancer with special focus on the basal-like phenotype (BLP) and other prognostic factors in an African population. We analyzed 65 archival tissues immunohistologically. EGFR and/or c-kit were expressed in 55% of basal-like tumors. Expression of EGFR and/or c-kit was strongly associated with high histologic grade (P=0.001), high nuclear grade (P=0.017), high mitotic counts (P=0.002), ER negativity (P=0.003), PR negativity (P=0.007), and HER2 negativity (P=0.014). EGFR and/or c-kit positive tumors were more likely to express the BLP (OR 9.1, CI 2.6–32.0, P<0.0005) than the negative tumors. In conclusion, there is a high expression of EGFR and/or c-kit in basal-like breast carcinoma in this series from Uganda and their expression is associated with features of poor prognosis. More studies are required to assess the clinical significance of EGFR and c-kit in breast cancer patients in Uganda.

Keywords: EGFR; Uganda; breast carcinoma; c-kit

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Gade Institute, Section for Pathology, University of Bergen, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway 2: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Publication date: June 1, 2008


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