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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Aug 1;14(15):4751-7. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-5207.

Prospective study of the accuracy of EGFR mutational analysis by high-resolution melting analysis in small samples obtained from patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

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Division of Internal Medicine, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, especially in-frame deletions in exon 19 (DEL) and a point mutation in exon 21 (L858R), predict gefitinib sensitivity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we verified the accuracy of EGFR mutation analysis in small samples by high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA), which is a rapid method using PCR amplification with a dye to analyze the melting curves in NSCLC.


We designed a prospective study to compare the sensitivity and specificity of HRMA and DNA sequencing with laser capture microdissection. Eligible patients with lung lesions were screened by bronchoscopy or percutaneous needle biopsy to histologically confirm the diagnosis, followed by surgical resection of the NSCLC. Small diagnostic specimens were analyzed for EGFR mutations by HRMA, and the surgically resected specimens were examined for mutations by HRMA and DNA sequencing.


The analyses for EGFR mutations were conducted in 52 eligible cases of the 92 enrolled patients. EGFR mutations were detected in 18 (34.6%) patients. The results of HRMA from surgically resected specimens as well as DNA sequencing revealed 100% sensitivity and specificity. On the other hand, the sensitivity and specificity of HRMA from the small diagnostic specimens were 83.3% and 100%, respectively.


In this study, we showed that HRMA is a highly accurate method for detecting DEL and L858R mutations in patients with NSCLC, although it is necessary to consider the identification of patients with a false-negative result when the analysis is conducted using small samples.

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