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Oncologist. 2011;16(6):877-85. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0155. Epub 2011 May 14.

Assessment of epidermal growth factor receptor and K-ras mutation status in cytological stained smears of non-small cell lung cancer patients: correlation with clinical outcomes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University Clinic of Navarra, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. mdlozano@unav.es

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and K-ras mutations guide treatment selection in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Although mutation status is routinely assessed in biopsies, cytological specimens are frequently the only samples available. We determined EGFR and K-ras mutations in cytological samples.

METHODS:

DNA was extracted from 150 consecutive samples, including 120 Papanicolau smears (80%), 10 cell blocks (7%), nine fresh samples (6%), six ThinPrep® tests (4%), and five body cavity fluids (3.3%). Papanicolau smears were analyzed when they had >50% malignant cells. Polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing of exons 18-21 of EGFR and exon 2 of K-ras were performed. EGFR mutations were simultaneously determined in biopsies and cytological samples from 20 patients. Activity of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) was assessed.

RESULTS:

The cytological diagnosis was adenocarcinoma in 110 samples (73%) and nonadenocarcinoma in 40 (27%) samples. EGFR mutations were identified in 26 samples (17%) and K-ras mutations were identified in 18 (12%) samples. EGFR and K-ras mutations were mutually exclusive. In EGFR-mutated cases, DNA was obtained from stained smears in 24 cases (92%), pleural fluid in one case (4%), and cell block in one case (4%). The response rate to EGFR TKIs in patients harboring mutations was 75%. The mutation status was identical in patients who had both biopsies and cytological samples analyzed.

CONCLUSION:

Assessment of EGFR and K-ras mutations in cytological samples is feasible and comparable with biopsy results, making individualized treatment selection possible for NSCLC patients from whom tumor biopsies are not available.

PMID:
21572125
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3228207
Free PMC Article
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