Purpose: It has previously been reported that the patient response to gefitinib depends on the presence of mutations within the kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or the expression of its truncated form, EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII). The focus of this study was to determine if these alterations are present within the tyrosine kinase and ligand-binding domain of EGFR in urothelial carcinoma. Experimental Design: The kinase domain found within exons 18 to 21 of the EGFR from 11 bladder cancer cell lines and 75 patient tumors were subjected to automated sequencing. EGFRvIII expression was determined by immunohistochemistry using a urothelial carcinoma tissue microarray, and its expression was subsequently verified by reverse transcription PCR, real-time PCR, and Western blot analysis, using an EGFRvIII-transfected glioblastoma cell line and glioblastoma tumors as positive controls. Results: Our analysis failed to detect mutations within the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR in the 11 cell lines and 75 patients tested. The initial analysis of EGFRvIII expression by immunohistochemistry revealed that at least 50% of the patient tumors expressed EGFRvIII in a urothelial carcinoma tissue microarray. Conflicting reports exist, however, regarding the extent of EGFRvIII expression in tissues owing to the specificity of the antibodies and the methodologies used. Therefore, we sought to validate this observation by reverse transcription PCR, real-time PCR, and Western blot analysis. In these assays, none of the samples were positive for EGFRvIII except for control transfectants and glioblastomas. Conclusions: When our results are taken together, we conclude that alterations within the tyrosine kinase domain and expression of EGFRvIII are rare events in bladder cancer. The present study has clinical implications in selecting tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the therapy of urothelial carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research