The objective of this work was to evaluate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) content in gastric cancer, its possible relationship with clinicopathological parameters of tumors and its prognostic significance. Membranous EGFR levels were examined by radioligand binding assays in 110 patients with gastric cancer. The mean follow-up period was 30.7 months. EGFR levels of tumors ranged widely, from 0.3 to 510 fmol/mg protein. EGFR levels were significantly higher (p<0.0005) in neoplastic tissue than in paired adjacent mucosa samples (median) (n= 84; 8.7 vs. 3.9 fmol/mg protein). Intratumoral EGFR levels were significantly correlated with tumor stage (p<0.05), and were higher in patients with stage III tumors (median) (7.6, 6.4, 12.3 and 7.5 fmol/mg protein for stages I, II, III and IV, respectively). In addition, the tumor/mucosa ratios of the EGFR content were significantly higher (p<0.05) in patients with stage III tumors (1, 1.8, 3.9, and 0.92, respectively). Although there was no significant relationship between EGFR levels of tumors and overall survival, the results suggest a role for EGFR in tumor progression of gastric cancer.