Purpose: To study EGFR alterations and expressions in a multi ethnic Malaysian TNBC patient cohort to determine the possibility of using anti-EGFR combinatorial therapy for this population.
Patients and methods: In this study, we evaluated 58 cases of Malaysian TNBC patient samples for EGFR gene copy number alteration and EGFR protein overexpression using fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) methods, respectively.
Results: EGFR protein overexpression was observed in about 30% while 15.5% displayed high EGFR copy number including 5.17% gene amplification and over 10% high polysomy. There is a positive correlation between EGFR protein overexpression and gene copy number and over expression of EGFR is observed in ten out of the 48 low copy number cases (20.9%) without gene amplification.
Conclusion: This study provides the first glimpse of EGFR alterations and expressions in a multi ethnic Malaysian TNBC patient cohort emphasising the need for the nationwide large scale EGFR expression evaluation in Malaysia.