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The detection of increased amounts of the extracellular domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor in serum during carcinogenesis in asbestosis patients.
Partanen R; Hemminki K; Koskinen H; Luo C; Carney WP; Brandt-Rauf PW
J Occup Med 1994 Dec; 36(12):1324-1328
The feasibility of using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect the extracellular domain (ECD) of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) in the serum of asbestosis patients was examined and the role of EGFr over expression in asbestos mediated carcinogenesis was evaluated. A cohort of 110 patients with asbestosis was studied from 1981 to 1987 by regular follow up examinations which included obtaining a venous blood sample. Thirty eight patients developed malignant tumors. The cancer cases and the asbestosis controls were similar in age, sex, race, smoking status, and asbestos exposure. Also included were 20 nonasbestos exposed, noncancer controls matched to the other groups. The levels of EGFr ECD were detected by a sandwich ELISA. The average serum EGFr ECD was 636 femtomole per milliliter (fmol/ml), 546fmol/ml, and 336fmol/ml for cancer cases, asbestosis controls, and nonasbestosis controls, respectively. Significant differences were seen between the cancer group and the controls, as well as between the two control groups. Five percent of the nonasbestosis controls had a positive serum elevation of EGFr ECD. Six percent of the asbestosis controls were positive and 18% of the cancer cases were positive. The cancer cases had elevated serum EGFr ECD prior to disease diagnosis and the average time between an initial positive serum sample and diagnosis was 5.1 years. The authors conclude that overexpression of EGFr may play a role in asbestos induced carcinogenesis and that this process may be detectable as increased serum levels of EGFr ECD in patients before the diagnosis of the disease.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Cancer; Humans; Asbestos-workers; Blood-serum; Blood-tests; Immunodiagnosis; Immunological-tests; Blood-samples; Medical-screening; Screening-methods; Carcinogenicity
Environmental Sciences Columbia University Sch of PH 60 Haven Avenue/b-1 Level New York, NY 10032
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Columbia University New York, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division