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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 15;11(10):3750-7.

Mutation in the tyrosine kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor is a predictive and prognostic factor for gefitinib treatment in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Chest Department, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, School of Medicine and Institute of Genetics and Genome Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.



Mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can be used to predict the tumor response of patients receiving gefitinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We investigated the association between mutations in EGFR tyrosine kinase domain and tumor response and survival in gefitinib-treated NSCLC patients.


EGFR mutations in exons 18 to 21 were analyzed by DNA sequencing of paraffin-embedded tumor tissues from gefitinib-treated NSCLC patients. The results were correlated with clinical variables.


EGFR mutations were found in 61.1% (33 of 54) of cases; response rate and disease control rate were 56.8% and 68.5%, respectively. There was no significant difference in mutation rates between adenocarcinoma (29 of 43) and nonadenocarcinoma (4 of 11; P = 0.085). However, all four nonadenocarcinomas with EGFR mutations had no response to gefitinib. Presence of EGFR mutations was the only independent predictor for disease control (P = 0.003) and tumor response (P = 0.017) in multivariate analysis; positive predictive values were 87.9% and 70.8% and negative predictive values were 61.9% and 69.2%, respectively. In comparison with patients whose tumor was negative for EGFR mutations, patients with EGFR mutations had better progression-free survival (median, 7.6 versus 1.7 months; P = 0.011) and overall survival (median, 14.7 versus 4.7 months; P = 0.046).


Mutations in EGFR tyrosine kinase correlate with treatment response and survival in gefitinib-treated NSCLC patients and can be used as a predictive and prognostic factor. Thus, analysis of EGFR tyrosine kinase mutations in lung adenocarcinoma is of clinical significance, as it can permit the customization of treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

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