Background: Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) play critical roles in gastric cancer (GC) progression and are potential targets for novel molecular-targeted agents or photo-immunotherapies. During patient selection, targeted biopsy is the first step. However, heterogeneous expression of RTKs based on the macroscopic appearance in GC has not been extensively addressed. Accordingly, in this study, we evaluated differences in RTK expression associated with macroscopic appearance in GC. Methods: In total, 375 consecutive patients who had undergone gastrectomy at the National Cancer Center Hospital East and who had histologically proven adenocarcinoma, available archived tumor sample, and no history of chemotherapy were enrolled in this study. For these cases, tissue microarray (TMA) samples were examined using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Based on the results of IHC, cases were selected for detailed examination. We re-evaluated IHC scores in more than three tumor blocks per case and comparatively evaluated differences in IHC expression in RTKs between the mucosal portion (MuP) and invasive portion (InP). Results: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-, and mesenchymal epithelial transition factor (c-MET)-positive rates were 6, 9, and 20%, respectively. Twenty-two cases were then analyzed to assess differences in IHC expression levels in the same lesion. Concordance rates of positive staining of HER2, EGFR, and MET between MuP and whole tumor were 100, 40, and 56% and those with InP were 46, 100, and 56%. Conclusions: To avoid underestimating expression status, biopsies must be taken from MuP for HER2, InP for EGFR, and both proportions for c-MET.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Gastric cancer
- Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
- Mesenchymal epithelial transition factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research