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Interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R) and Epidermal Growth Factor receptor (EGFR) were assessed as factors associated with adenoma-carcinoma progression in colorectal cancer and tumour invasion. A monoclonal antibody (MR6) was applied to detect IL-4R in: metaplastic polyps (five cases), adenomas (15 cases), and carcinomas (44 adenocarcinomas and one squamous cell). Positive labelling was obtained in all polyps, adenomas and in 40/45 carcinomas. Normal colonic mucosa of these patients, as well as macrophages and lymphocytes infiltrating the tumour stroma, were also positively labelled with MR6. Four out of five poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas did not show IL-4 receptor expression. No significant correlation was found with tumour size, lymph node stage and IL-4 receptor expression. On the above specimens a parallel detection of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) by a monoclonal antibody (EGFR 1) was carried out. Expression of EGFR was found in 14/20 polyps and in 22/45 carcinomas. All but one of the EGFR positive malignant tumours showed coexpression of IL-4 receptor. Lymph node involvement by tumour cells was detected in 25 out of 45 patients. Eighteen of these 25 cases were positive with EGFR1.


Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





712 - 716


Adenocarcinoma, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Anus Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Colonic Neoplasms, ErbB Receptors, Humans, Receptors, Interleukin-4, Receptors, Mitogen