Expression of the oncogenes, epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, HER2/neu, c-myc, and c-fos, in renal cell carcinoma and corresponding nonneoplastic kidney tissue of 30 patients has been analyzed by Northern blot analysis. In renal cell carcinoma an inverse relationship of EGF receptor and HER2/neu gene expression was detected, with high expression of the EGF receptor gene in 22 of 30 (73%) cases and low expression of the HER2/neu gene in 28 of 30 (93%) cases. Furthermore, altered expression of the oncogenes c-myc and c-fos was detected in renal cell carcinoma, which appears to be related to the tumor grade of malignancy.

Additional Southern blot analysis of six renal cell carcinomas gave no indication of chromosomal rearrangement events or gene amplification.

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This study was supported by National Foundation for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD, and by Dr. Robert Pfleger Stiftung, Bamberg, West Germany.

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