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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Dec;5(12):1949-52.

Association between age at diagnosis and the presence of EGFR mutations in female patients with resected non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea.



Our previous report showed an association between age and outcome in gefitinib-treated female patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Only limited numbers of molecular studies have been performed with respect to the presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations according to age. This retrospective study was performed to evaluate a possible association between age at the time diagnosis and the presence of EGFR mutations in female patients with NSCLC.


Tumor specimens were collected retrospectively from paraffin blocks of 98 female patients with primary NSCLC who underwent surgical resection between January 1992 and December 2002 at the Korea Cancer Center Hospital. To detect EGFR mutations, a Scorpion Amplified Refractory Mutation System was used.


Most of the study population comprised never smokers (84%) and patients with adenocarcinoma (82%). The age at the time of diagnosis ranged from 34 to 74 years (median, 57 years). When the median age was used as a cutoff value, older patients were more likely to have EGFR mutations than younger patients (70 versus 39%; p = 0.004). After controlling for the effects of histology, smoking history, and stage, age remained a significant predictor for EGFR mutations (odds ratio, 4.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.61-10.09; p = 0.003).


Our data suggest that age at the time of diagnosis in female patients with NSCLC may be associated with the frequency of EGFR mutations, a strong indicator for favorable outcomes.

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