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Radiat Oncol. 2012 Oct 30;7:181. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-181.

EGFR mutations are associated with favorable intracranial response and progression-free survival following brain irradiation in non-small cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.



The presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with increased radiosensitivity in vitro. However, the results from clinical studies regarding the radiosensitivity in NSCLC with mutant EGFR are inconclusive. We retrospectively analyzed our NSCLC patients who had been regularly followed up by imaging studies after irradiation for brain metastases, and investigated the impact of EGFR mutations on radiotherapy (RT).


Forty-three patients with brain metastases treated with RT, together with EGFR mutation status, demographics, smoking history, performance status, recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class, tumor characteristics, and treatment modalities, were included. Radiological images were taken at 1 to 3 months after RT, and 3 to 6 months thereafter. Radiographic response was evaluated by RECIST criteria version 1.1 according to the intracranial images before and after RT. Log-rank test and Cox regression model were used to correlate EGFR mutation status and other clinical features with intracranial radiological progression-free survival (RPFS) and overall survival (OS).


The median follow-up duration was 15 months. Patients with mutant EGFR had higher response rates to brain RT than those with wild-type EGFR (80% vs. 46%; p = 0.037). Logistic regression analysis showed that EGFR mutation status is the only predictor for treatment response (p = 0.032). The median intracranial RPFS was 18 months (95% CI = 8.33-27.68 months). In Cox regression analysis, mutant EGFR (p = 0.025) and lower RPA class (p = 0.026) were associated with longer intracranial RPFS. EGFR mutation status (p = 0.061) and performance status (p = 0.076) had a trend to predict OS.


Mutant EGFR in NSCLC patients is an independent prognostic factor for better treatment response and longer intracranial RPFS following RT for brain metastases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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