Association of epidermal growth factor receptor protein expression with histopathological and clinical parameters in carcinoma of the larynx

Chittibabu Vatte, Ali M. Al-Amri, Cyril Cyrus, Shahanas Chathoth, Abdulla Alsulaiman, Ahmed Al Sayyah, Amein Al-Ali


Background: Laryngeal cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in head and neck malignancies with the majority of tumors being squamous cell carcinomas. Despite sharing similarities with other head and neck tumors, laryngeal tumors require a special approach in treatment due to the need for organ preservation. Non-surgical procedures, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and novel targeted therapies are alternative options. However, the selection of appropriate treatment modality is crucial for recurrence-free survival. With the availability of targeted therapies, the biomarker expression pattern has become a vital tool in the selection of treatment and prognosis. The present study aims to study the variation of protein [epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and p16INK4] expression and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection status in larynx carcinoma patients and correlate it with histopathological and clinical parameters.
Methods: This is a retrospective study comprising laryngeal carcinoma tumor samples from 18 patients. The samples were analyzed for EGFR, PTEN and p16INK4 expression by immunohistochemistry and HPV status by chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH).
Results: The EGFR over expression was observed in the 83.3% of patients. This high EGFR expression was associated with lymph node positivity (P=0.045) and advanced disease stage (P=0.035). Furthermore, the smoking status of the patients is correlated with a better prognosis (P=0.048). The PTEN was negatively expressed in 94.4% patients.
Conclusions: The association of EGFR over expression with lymph node status and advanced stage of the disease supports the role that EGFR plays in the tumor metastasis and invasion in laryngeal carcinoma patients. Therefore, the use of anti-EGFR targeted therapy in cases of laryngeal carcinoma may improve the prognosis of these patients. The other studied proteins p16INK4 , PTEN and HPV infection did not show any correlation with prognosis and other clinical parameters.