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Eur Respir J. 2010 Feb;35(2):391-5. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00028109. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration for identifying EGFR mutations.

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Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Carretera de Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona, Spain.


The presence of somatic mutations of the tyrosine kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) correlates with a good response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The usefulness of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) for the detection of EGFR mutations in cells recovered from malignant mediastinal nodes in patients with NSCLC was assessed. All patients with lung adenocarcinoma or unspecified NSCLC referred for staging with EBUS-TBNA were included. Nodes with a short-axis diameter of >5 mm were sampled, and genomic DNA from metastatic tumour cells was obtained for analysis of exons 19 and 21. The impact of sampling on management was assessed. EGFR gene analysis of the EBUS-TBNA sample was feasible in 26 (72.2%) out of the 36 patients with lymph node metastasis. Somatic mutations of the EGFR gene were detected in tissue obtained through EBUS-TBNA in two (10%) out of 20 patients with metastasic lung adenocarcinoma. Malignant tissue samples obtained by EBUS-TBNA from patients with nodal metastasis of NSCLC are suitable for the detection of EGFR mutations in most cases, and this technique demonstrates mutated neoplastic cells in a tenth of patients with adenocarcinoma.

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