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Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Oct;126(4):608-15.

Detection of EGFR mutations in archived cytologic specimens of non-small cell lung cancer using high-resolution melting analysis.

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Clinical Laboratory Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), particularly deletional mutations (DEL) in exon 19 and L858R in exon 21, are reportedly correlated with clinical outcome in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib, suggesting that detection of EGFR mutations would have an important role in clinical decision making. We established and validated an easy, inexpensive, and rapid method for detecting DEL and L858R from cytologic material by high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA). Dilution for sensitivity studies revealed that DEL and L858R were detectable in the presence of at least 10% and 0.1% EGFR-mutant cells, respectively. We analyzed 37 archived cytological slides of specimens from 29 patients with advanced NSCLC and compared the results with direct sequencing data obtained previously. Of 37 samples, 34 (92%) yielded consistent results with direct sequencing, 2 were false negative, and 1 was indeterminate. The sensitivity of this analysis was 90% (19/21) and specificity, 100% (15/15). These results suggest that HRMA of archived cytologic specimens of advanced NSCLC is useful for detecting EGFR mutations in clinical practice.

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