Growth factor expression in normal peritoneum of patients with gynecologic carcinoma

T. Scott Jennings, Peter R. Dottino, John P. Mandeli, Rudy A. Segna, Kevin Kelliher, Carmel J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Both epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2/neu (neu) have been found to be of prognostic importance in epithelial ovarian and endometrial carcinoma, but alterations in proto-oncogene expression of normal tissues of patients with gynecologic malignancies are unknown. Patients (118) undergoing laparotomy for gynecologic indications (78 ovarian cancer, 11 endometrial cancer, 19 benign gynecologic disease, 10 other cancers) had biopsies of normal peritoneum for quantitative assessment of neu and EGFR concentrations. Patients undergoing exploration for gynecologic malignancy were found to have significantly higher median neu expression in the peritoneal biopsies than patients with benign gynecologic disease (P = 0.002). Most patients in this study were found to have ovarian cancer, and median peritoneal neu expression was found to be significantly higher in patients with ovarian cancer versus benign ovarian masses (P = 0.0008) or any benign gynecologic disease (P = 0.004). No significant alteration of unbound EGFR was found in peritoneal biopsies of any of the groups of patients. No associations were found for a history of breast cancer, presence of ascites, or menopausal status with alteration of neu or EGFR expression in normal peritoneum. These findings of altered expression of neu in normal tissues of patients with ovarian cancer are suggestive of the presence of proto-oncogene alterations in loco-regional tissues of the peritoneum, such as might be seen if a paracrine influence existed between tumor and peritoneal cells. Alternatively, the alterations may represent subtle alterations of proto-oncogene expression of germ-line tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1994


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