2019 Volume 59 Issue 3 Pages 89-97
Epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is a tumor-specific cell surface antigen often expressed in glioblastoma and has drawn much attention as a possible therapeutic target. We performed immunohistochemistry on histology sections of surgical specimens taken from 67 cases with glioblastoma, isocitrate dehydrogenase-wild type, and evaluated the morphological characteristics and distribution of the EGFRvIII-positive tumor cells. We then evaluated the localization of EGFRvIII-expression within the tumor and peritumoral areas. EGFRvIII immunopositivity was detected in 15 specimens taken from 13 patients, including two recurrent specimens taken from the same patient at relapse. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that EGFRvIII-positive cells were present in cells positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and some showed astrocytic differentiation with multiple fine processes and others did not shown. The EGFRvIII-positive cells were located in cellular areas of the tumor, but not in the invading zone. In the two recurrent cases, EGFRvIII-positive cells were markedly decreased in one case and retained in the other. With regard to overall survival, univariate analysis indicated that EGFRvIII-expression in patients with glioblastoma was not significantly associated with a favorable outcome. Double-labeling immunofluorescence staining of EGFRvIII and GFAP showed that processes of large, well differentiated, GFAP-positive glia extend to and surround less differentiated, EGFRvIII-positive glial cells in cellular areas of tumor. However, in the tumor periphery, EGFRvIII-positive tumor cells were not observed. This finding suggests that EGFRvIII is involved in tumor proliferation, but that invading glioma cells lose their EGFRvIII expression.