Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Original Articles :
Myanamr Health Research Registration 2022; 34(1-3): 71-76.

Detection of EGFR mRNA in Colorectal Carcinoma

Khin Kant Kaw Oo1*, Kyaw Soe1, Win Pa Pa Naing1, Lei Shwe Zin2 and Khin Thida Aung3

Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1-3, 2022


Colorectal carcinoma is a common malignant disease worldwide, including Myanmar. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) has role in colorectal carcinogenesis and its overexpression is considered to be related with prognosis and disease management. This study was to find the association between EGFR mRNA (one of the biomarkers) and pathological features among colorectal carcinoma in Myanmar population. The aim was to detect circulating EGFR mRNA by nested RT-PCR method in histologically confirmed colorectal carcinoma. Total 84 cases of colonoscopic biopsy proven colorectal carcinoma cases were recruited and collected 2 ml of blood before operation and only 68 cases were eligible for the study. The commonest site of tumor occurrence was rectum 61.8% (42/68) and the most common tumor type was adenocarcinoma 86% (59/68). The most frequent histological grade was moderately differentiated type 41/68 (60.3%), followed by well differentiate type 21/68(30.9%), and 6/68 (8.8%) of poorly differentiated type. According to Astler-Coller staging, 45/68(66.2%) were in stage B2 followed by 8/68(11.8%) in stage D, 7/68(10.3%) in stage B1, 5/68(7.4%) in stage C2 and 3/68(4.4%) in stage C1, respectively. EGFR mRNA was detected in 19/68(27.9%) of colorectal carcinoma which were 23.8% (5/21), 26.9% (11/41) and 50% (3/6) of well, moderate and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, respectively. EGFR mRNA was detected in 15.4% (8/52), 62.5% (5/8) and 75% (6/8) of Astler-Coller stage B, stage C and stage D, respectively.



Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world.1 In United States, there are more  than  130,000 new cases  and  nearly  50,000 deaths  from  CRC  each year.2  According  to

admission data of North Okkalapa General and Teaching Hospital (NOGTH), there were 186 cases  (6.1 percent  of total cancer patients), 351 cases (14.2 percent of total cancer patients), and 382 cases (9.7 percent of total cancer patients) of CRC in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is known as HER-1 or erb-B1.3 Binding of EGF to EGFR produces a biological signal to cell that promote tumor growth, cell invasion, metastasis, repair and angiogenesis, which are essential for ongoing survival of tumor.4


This study was a cross-sectional descriptive study and carried out for two years (October, 2016 to October, 2018) at NOGTH, Univer-sity of Medicine 2, Yangon and DMR. Patients with colonoscopic biopsy confirmed cases before operation were included in this study and cases which have been treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy were excluded.


This study evaluated EGFR mRNA by nested RT-PCR in peripheral blood of 68 primary CRC patients and detected EGFR mRNA in 27.9% (19/68) of total cases. The findings were within the range of findings from others. Spaulding and Spaudling (2002) reported that expression of EGFR had varying figures ranged from 25-82%.10 Clark and co-authors (2003) detected EGFR mRNA in 12.5% of peripheral blood of colon carcinomas.11 Tsouma, et al (2010) observed 19.3% of EGFR transcripts in peripheral blood of total 88 patients with primary CRC.12 Teama and Agwa (2010) detected EGFR    in 41.7% (15/36) of colon cancer.13 Nannini, et al (2009) stated that EGFR mRNA was observed in 62% of CRC patients.14




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2.       Kumar V, Abbas,A.K & Aster JC. The Gastrointestinal Tract. In: Robbins and Cotran Pathologic basis of disease, 10th ed. Elsevier Saunders, Philadephia, 2020; 1251-1256.

3.       Wei MC, Zong WX, Cheng EH, Lindsten T, Panoutsakopoulou V, Ross AJ, et al. EGF receptor (1999). The International  Journal of  Biochemistry & Cell Biology 1999; 31: 637-643.