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Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(6):R133. doi: 10.1186/bcr3079. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Lack of EGFR-activating mutations in European patients with triple-negative breast cancer could emphasise geographic and ethnic variations in breast cancer mutation profiles.

Author information

  • 1D├ępartement d'Oncologie M├ędicale, CRLC Val d'Aurelle-Paul Lamarque, 208, rue des Apothicaires, F-34298, France. william.jacot@valdorel.fnclcc.fr

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are characterised by lack of expression of hormone receptors and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). As they frequently express epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs), anti-EGFR therapies are currently assessed for this breast cancer subtype as an alternative to treatments that target HER-2 or hormone receptors. Recently, EGFR-activating mutations have been reported in TNBC specimens in an East Asian population. Because variations in the frequency of EGFR-activating mutations in East Asians and other patients with lung cancer have been described, we evaluated the EGFR mutational profile in tumour samples from European patients with TNBC.

METHODS:

We selected from a DNA tumour bank 229 DNA samples isolated from frozen, histologically proven and macrodissected invasive TNBC specimens from European patients. PCR and high-resolution melting (HRM) analyses were used to detect mutations in exons 19 and 21 of EGFR. The results were then confirmed by bidirectional sequencing of all samples.

RESULTS:

HRM analysis allowed the detection of three EGFR exon 21 mutations, but no exon 19 mutations. There was 100% concordance between the HRM and sequencing results. The three patients with EGFR exon 21 abnormal HRM profiles harboured the rare R836R SNP, but no EGFR-activating mutation was identified.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlights variations in the prevalence of EGFR mutations in TNBC. These variations have crucial implications for the design of clinical trials involving anti-EGFR treatments in TNBC and for identifying the potential target population.

PMID:
22192147
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3326575
Free PMC Article

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