Abnormalities of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and c-erbB-2 have been demonstrated to be correlated with aggressive biologic behavior in a variety of human cancers. To analyze the possible roles of these oncogenes in ovarian neoplasms, immunolocalization of EGFR and c-erbB-2 oncogene product was performed in 45 cases of human ovarian mucinous and serous cystadenomas, carcinomas of low malignant potential (LMP), and invasive carcinomas by employing antibodies against these oncogene products. EGFR immunoreactivity was present in 15 of 35 LMP and invasive carcinomas and 1 of 10 cystadenomas. On the contrary, immunoreactivity of p185, which is an oncogene product of c-erbB-2, was detected only in five cases of carcinoma and in no benign cystadenoma. These results indicate that EGFR may be involved in the neoplastic process in epithelial ovarian adenocarcinoma, especially mucinous carcinoma, but involvement of c-erbB-2 is probably not as prevalent as considered previously. Four of the five cases immunohistochemically positive for p185 were also positive for EGFR, which suggests that expression of EGFR and p185 is to some extent correlated in human ovarian carcinoma.
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