This study evaluated wild-type EGFR, E746-A750 frame deletion in exon 19, and L858R point mutation in exon 21 by immunohistochemistry in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
A retrospective study included 99 untreated early-stage and advanced-stage TNBC patients. Immunohistochemical localization of wild-type EGFR, EGFR E746-A750 deletion in exon 19, and EGFR L858R mutation in exon 21 was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks using mutation-specific primary antibodies.
EGFR protein expression was noted in 27% (27/99) of patients with 2+ or 3+ staining intensity in 7% (7/99) of patients. Significant correlation of EGFR protein expression with subgroups of clinicopathologic parameters was not found. In univariate and multivariate survival analysis, high EGFR expression (2+ or 3+) emerged as a significant prognostic factor for disease-free survival. With respect to mutation status, exon 19 deletion was observed in 3% (3/99) of patients. One patient with exon 19 deletion having high EGFR protein (2+) expression developed lung metastasis, whereas the other 2 patients with exon 19 deletion had low EGFR protein (1+) expression and remained disease free during the study period.
EGFR protein overexpression was observed in one fourth of TNBCs with very low incidence of EGFR-activating mutations in patients of western India.