EGFR and HER2 expression in cervical cancer patients in Ibadan, Nigeria

2 Oct 2023
Ajibike Ayomide Orekoya, Abbas A Abdus-Salam, Abdurasaq R Oyesegun, Atara I Ntekim, Ayorinde M Folasire, Clement A Okolo, Adeniyi A Olabumuyi, Adedamola A Dada, Adeniyi A Adenipekun

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in developing countries, including Nigeria where it is the second most common female malignancy. Studies from elsewhere have demonstrated the relationship between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and advanced cervical cancer. However, we are not aware of such studies in Nigerian patients. The main objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of EGFR or HER1 and HER2 protein expression in cervical cancers and to determine their impact on overall survival. Clinical data and formalin-embedded tissue blocks of 124 patients who presented in the Radiation Oncology Department, University College Hospital (UCH), from 2006 to 2015 and had their histological diagnosis at the Pathology Department, UCH were retrieved and analysed for EGFR and HER2 expression using immunohistochemistry. EGFR expression was analysed using the immunoreactivity score by Remmele and Stegner. HER2 was analysed using the Hercep® test kit guidelines. Survival analysis was done using Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression analysis. Missing data were reported as missing, not documented. EGFR (immunoreactivity score > 4) was overexpressed in 26.6% of the 124 cervical tissue samples tested. Most patients whose samples were positive for EGFR were young, had squamous cell carcinoma and advanced diseases. HER2 was overexpressed in two samples (1.6%). The 5-year overall survival rate of the patients was 28.3%. The 5-year survival rate of patients who were EGFR positive was 9.5% and 34.1% for those who were EGFR negative. Screening for EGFR should be considered in cervical cancer patients. HER2 was overexpressed in two cervical tissue samples in this study and may be of poor interest as a potential target in the management of cervical cancer patients. Large prospective multi-institutional studies should be considered to further explore the relationship between EGFR and survival in cervical cancer patients.

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