Supplementary Material for: Expression of the ERBB Family of Ligands and Receptors in Gastric Cancer
Objective: Gastric cancer (GC) is the second most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in Korea. Alterations in the ERBB (homology to the erythroblastoma viral gene product, v-erbB) receptor family and ERBB-related signaling pathways are frequently observed in GC. However, the roles of the ERBB receptors and their ligands in GC are not well established. Methods: We evaluated the expression levels of various ERBB receptor ligands (i.e., heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor [HBEGF], transforming growth factor-α [TGFA], amphiregulin [AREG], epiregulin [EREG], epidermal growth factor [EGF], and betacellulin [BTC]) and 3 ERBB family receptors (i.e., epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFR], human EGFR2 [HER2], and ERBB3) in 313 cases of GC using immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and mRNA in situ hybridization. Results: A high expression of EGFR, HER2, and ERBB3 was observed in 30, 32, and 27 cases, respectively. A high expression of HBEGF, TGFA, AREG, EREG, EGF, and BTC was observed in 91, 97, 151, 74, 26, and 37 cases, respectively. A high expression of TGFA was associated with better survival, while a high expression of BTC was associated with worse survival. These results were confirmed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. HBEGF, TGFA, AREG, tumor-node-metastasis classification, Lauren's classification, and ERBB3 were significant survival parameters in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Among the ERBB family receptors and ligands examined, 3 ligands (i.e., TGFA, HBEGF, and AREG) and ERBB3 had a prognostic impact.