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Oncol Res. 2019 May 7;27(5):575-582. doi: 10.3727/096504018X15344979253618. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

Clinical Characteristics and Molecular Patterns of RET-Rearranged Lung Cancer in Chinese Patients.

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Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R. China.
Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute, Guangdong General Hospital and Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, West China Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shenzhen People's Hospital, Second Clinical Medical College of Jinan University, Shenzhen, Guangdong, P.R. China.
State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China.
Burning Rock Biotech, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China.


RET rearrangement has been proven as an oncogenic driver in patients with lung cancer. However, the prevalence, clinical characteristics, molecular features, and therapeutic options in RET-rearranged patients remain unclear, especially in Chinese lung cancer patients. We retrospectively collected 6,125 Chinese lung cancer patients who have been profiled using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The clinical demographics and molecular features of RET rearrangement-positive patients were analyzed. RET rearrangements were identified in 84 patients with a proportion of 1.4% in our cohort. The median age at diagnosis was 58 years, and it mainly occurred in females with adenocarcinoma histology. KIF5B-RET was the most frequent fusion type and accounted for 53.8% (57/106) of all RET fusions identified, with K15-R12 as the most frequent variant (71.9%). Among 47 RET+ patients profiled with larger panels, 72.3% (34/47) harbored concurrent alterations. TP53 ranked as the most common concurrent alteration, and concomitant EGFR oncogenic alterations were identified in seven patients. Moreover, an adenocarcinoma patient harboring concurrent RET fusion and EGFR L858R responded to combinatorial treatment of cabozantinib and osimertinib, with a progression-free survival of 5 months. Our study improved knowledge of clinical characteristics and molecular features of RET-rearranged lung cancers in China. It might be helpful to guide clinicians for more effective personalized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

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