The epidermal growth factor receptor has received much interest as a target for various antineoplastic agents, but a complication is that many normal tissues also express this receptor. We have previously identified in human glial tumors an 801-bp in-frame deletion within the epidermal growth factor receptor gene that created a novel epitope at the junction. By using Western blot assays with a mutant-specific antibody as a rapid and sensitive means for detecting this alteration in primary human tumors, it was found that 57% (26 of 46) of high-grade and 86% (6 of 7) of low-grade glial tumors, but not normal brain, express this protein. This altered receptor was also present in 66% (4 of 6) of pediatric gliomas and 86% (6 of 7) of medulloblastomas, 78% (21 of 27) of breast carcinomas, and 73% (24 of 32) of ovarian carcinomas. The fact that this receptor is frequently found in tumors but not in normal tissue makes it an attractive candidate for various antitumor strategies.

1

This work was supported by CA-51093, NS-31102, and the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities Foundation.

This content is only available via PDF.