The relationship between expression of EGFR, MMP-9, and C-erbB-2 and survival time in resected non-small cell lung cancer

Seung Heon Lee, Jin Yong Jung, Kyoung Ju Lee, Seung Hyeun Lee, Se Joong Kim, Eun Sil Ha, Eun Joo Lee, Gyu Young Hur, Ki Hwan Jung, Hye Cheol Jung, Sung Yong Lee, Je Hyeong Kim, Sang Yeub Lee, Chol Shin, Jae Jeong Shim, Kwang Ho In, Kyung Ho Kang, Se Hwa Yoo, Chul Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a common cause of cancer-related death in North America and Korea, with an overall 5-year survival rate of between 4 and 14% The TNM staging system is the best prognostic index for operable NSCLC. However, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), matrix metalloproteinase-9(MMP-9), and C-erbB-2 have all been implicated in the pathogenesis of NSCLC and might provide prognostic information. Methods: Immunohistochemical staining of 81 specimens from a resected primary non-small cell lung cancer was evaluated in order to determine the role of the biological markers on NSCLC. Immunohistochemical staining for EGFR, MMP-9, and C-erbB-2 was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue sections to observe the expression pattern according to the pathologic type and surgical staging. The correlations between the expression of each biological marker and the survival time was determined. Results: When positive immunohistochemical staining was defined as the extent area>20%(more than Grade 2), the positive rates for EGFR, MMP-9, and C-erbB-2 staining were 71.6%, 44.3%, and 24.1% of the 81 patients, respectively. The positive rates of EGFR and MMP-9 stain for NSCLC according to the surgical stages I, II, and IIIa were 75.0% and 41.7%, 66.7% and 47.6%, and 76.9% and 46.2%, respectively. The median survival time of the EGFR(-) group, 71.8 months, was significantly longer than that of the EGFR(+) group, 33.5 months.(p=0.018, Kaplan-Meier Method, log-rank test). The MMP-9(+) group had a shorter median survival time than the MMP-9(-) group, 35.0 and 65.3 months, respectively (p=0.2). The co-expression of EGFR and MMP-9 was associated with a worse prognosis with a median survival time of 26.9 months , when compared with the 77 months for both negative-expression groups (p=0.0023). There were no significant differences between the C-erbB-2(+) and C-erbB-2 (-) groups. Conclusion: In NSCLC, the expression of EGFR might be a prognostic factor, and the co expression of EGFR and MMP-9 was found to be associated with a poor prognosis. However, C-erbB-2 expression had no prognostic significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-297
Number of pages12
JournalTuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sept


  • C-erbB-2
  • EGFR
  • MMP-9
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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