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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Nov;5(11):1734-40. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181f0beca.

Somatic mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway genes in non-small cell lung cancers.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.

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  • J Thorac Oncol. 2011 Jun;6(6):1147.



Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway plays a crucial role in the development and progression of lung cancer. We searched for mutations of EGFR pathway genes in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and analyzed their relationship with clinicopathologic features.


Mutations of EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3, ERBB4, KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, PTEN, PIK3CA, LKB1, and AKT1 genes were determined by direct sequencing in 173 surgically resected NSCLCs--56 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 117 adenocarcinomas (ACs).


Of the 173 NSCLCs, a total of 65 mutations were detected in 63 (36.4%) tumors--10 (17.9%) in SCCs and 53 (45.3%) in ACs. Mutations in EGFR pathway genes were significantly more frequent in women and ACs than in women and SCCs (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001, respectively). The mutations occurred in a mutually exclusive pattern. When the genes were divided into three subgroups according to their roles in the signaling cascade, mutations in the EGFR/ERBB2 and KRAS/BRAF genes were more frequent in ACs than in SCCs (p < 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). In marked contrast, mutations in the PIK3CA/PTEN were more frequent in SCCs than in ACs (p = 0.002). Furthermore, mutations in the PIK3CA/PTEN genes were more frequent in smokers (p = 0.04).


Our study demonstrates that mutations in each part of the EGFR pathway were associated with different clinicopathologic features in patients with NSCLCs.

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