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Competitive binding and monoclonal antibody staining techniques were used to demonstrate high-affinity (Kd = 1.9 nmol/l) receptors for epidermal growth factor (EGF) in 35 of 104 primary human breast tumours and in 10 of 14 secondary lymph-node deposits. There was a significant inverse relation between the presence of EGF receptors and the presence of oestrogen receptors in the primary tumours (p less than 0.01), and EGF receptors were found in a greater proportion of metastases than primary tumours (p less than 0.01). These results suggest that the presence of EGF receptors is associated with metastatic potential and that the growth of a proportion of poor-prognosis oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours may be regulated by peptide growth factors interacting with the EGF receptor.


Journal article



Publication Date





364 - 366


Breast Neoplasms, ErbB Receptors, Female, Humans, Lymph Nodes, Lymphatic Metastasis, Neoplasm Metastasis, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Estrogen