Purpose: To evaluate the potential of the new prognostic information gained by analyzing the coexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cervical cancer patients. Experimental Design: Sixty-eight patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IIB squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix, who underwent concurrent chemoradiotherapy between 1993 and 1996, were divided into the following four groups according to their immunoreactivities for EGFR and COX-2 in paraffin-embedded sections: (a) the EGFR-negative/COX-2-negative group (n = 11); (b) the EGFR-negative/COX-2-positive group (n = 8); (c) the EGFR-positive/COX-2-negative group (n = 27); and (d) the EGFR-positive/COX-2-positive group (n = 22). The clinical features, patterns of treatment failure, and survival data in the four groups were compared. Results: Positive immunoreactivity for EGFR and COX-2 was observed in 49 of 68 (72%) and 19 of 68 (28%), respectively. However, no strong correlation was found between the levels of EGFR and COX-2 immunopositivity (R2 = 0.05, P = 0.07). Patients in the EGFR-positive/COX-2-positive group had a higher likelihood of locoregional recurrence than those in the other three groups (P = 0.02). Of the patients in the four groups, patients positive for both oncoproteins were found to have the worst prognosis with an overall 5-year disease-free survival rate of 55% compared with 91% for the EGFR-negative/COX-2-negative patients, 88% for the EGFR-negative/COX-2-positive patients, and 69% for the EGFR-positive/COX-2-negative patients (P = 0.05, log-rank test). In addition, the synchronous coexpression of the EGFR and COX-2 oncoproteins was found to be an independent prognostic factor by univariate and multivariate analyses (relative risk = 4.0, P = 0.03). Conclusions: Given these observations, we conclude that the coexpression of EGFR and COX-2 immunoreactivity may be used as a potent molecular risk factor for predicting the poor survival of patients with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IIB squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research