Cellular and Molecular Biology


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) biology and human oral cancer

R. Todd1 and D.T.W. Wong2

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA and 2Division of Oral Pathology, Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Diagnosis, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Offprint requests to: Dr. David T.W. Wong, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Division of Oral Pathology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 188 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA. Fax: 617-432-2449. e-mail: David_Wong@hms.harvard.edu


Summary. Dysregulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is one of the most frequently studied molecular events leading to oral carcinogenesis. Over-expression of EGFR is a common event in many human solid tumors. Elevated levels of EGFR mRNA in human cancer occur with and without gene rearrangement. Structural alterations in the receptor can also result in the dysregulation of the EGFR pathway. EGFR over-expression without gene re-arrangement is frequently observed in human oral cancers. However, little is known whether structural alterations in the receptor or perturbations in the EGFR pathway contribute to oral carcinogenesis. Several preliminary studies suggest that EGFR-targeted therapeutic approaches might be successful in controlling oral cancer. Histol. Histopathol. 14, 491-500 (1999)


Key words: Growth factor receptor, Squamous cell carcinoma, Oral, Biomarker

DOI: 10.14670/HH-14.491