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PLoS One. 2016 Sep 29;11(9):e0163652. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163652. eCollection 2016.

Comparison of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutations between Metastatic Lymph Node Diagnosed by EBUS-TBNA and Primary Tumor in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

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Center for Lung Cancer, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.
Department of Pathology, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.



Although the use of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is increasing for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) testing in lung cancer, the discordance rate in EGFR mutations between lymph node (LN) samples obtained by EBUS-TBNA and primary tumor (PT) is not well known. Thus, we compared the EGFR mutation status of LN samples obtained by EBUS-TBNA and PTs to estimate the efficacy of using EBUS-TBNA specimens for EGFR testing in advanced, non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Using data of patients from the EBUS-TBNA database (N = 1914) obtained between January 2009 and January 2013, we identified 100 treatment-naïve, advanced, non-squamous NSCLC patients (stage 3 and 4) with matched LN specimens obtained by EBUS-TBNA and PT specimens. Of these, 74 patients with paired specimens were feasible for EGFR mutation analysis, which we performed using a direct sequencing method.


Of the 74 cases, at least one major [exon 19 deleted (19del) and L858R] or minor (T790M, exon 20 insertion, and other point mutations) EGFR mutation was detected in 31 cases (41.9%), which included PT (n = 31, 41.9%) and LN (n = 28, 37.8%) specimens. Major mutations were detected in 25 PT (33.8%, 19del = 13, L858R = 12) and 22 LN (29.8%, 19del = 11, L858R = 11) specimens. The discordance rate in major mutations between matched PT and LN specimens was 4.1% (3/74). Among minor mutations, T790M was detected in LN specimen only in 2 cases with L858R in PT and LN. The discordance rate major and minor EGFR mutations combined between matched PT and LN specimens was 12% (9/74).


We observed a high concordance rate of major EGFR mutations between matched LN specimens sampled by EBUS-TBNA and PTs, suggesting that LN samples obtained by EBUS-TBNA from advanced non-squamous NSCLC patients are effective for use in EGFR mutation testing.

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