Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Cancer. 2020 Jan 31;20(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s12885-020-6579-z.

Simplified molecular classification of lung adenocarcinomas based on EGFR, KRAS, and TP53 mutations.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, 1825 4th Street, Room L2181A, San Francisco, CA, 94158, USA.
Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.



Gene expression profiling has consistently identified three molecular subtypes of lung adenocarcinoma that have prognostic implications. To facilitate stratification of patients with this disease into similar molecular subtypes, we developed and validated a simple, mutually exclusive classification.


Mutational status of EGFR, KRAS, and TP53 was used to define seven mutually exclusive molecular subtypes. A development cohort of 283 cytology specimens of lung adenocarcinoma was used to evaluate the associations between the proposed classification and clinicopathologic variables including demographic characteristics, smoking history, fluorescence in situ hybridization and molecular results. For validation and prognostic assessment, 63 of the 283 cytology specimens with available survival data were combined with a separate cohort of 428 surgical pathology specimens of lung adenocarcinoma.


The proposed classification yielded significant associations between these molecular subtypes and clinical and prognostic features. We found better overall survival in patients who underwent surgery and had tumors enriched for EGFR mutations. Worse overall survival was associated with older age, stage IV disease, and tumors with co-mutations in KRAS and TP53. Interestingly, neither chemotherapy nor radiation therapy showed benefit to overall survival.


The mutational status of EGFR, KRAS, and TP53 can be used to easily classify lung adenocarcinoma patients into seven subtypes that show a relationship with prognosis, especially in patients who underwent surgery, and these subtypes are similar to classifications based on more complex genomic methods reported previously.


Lung adenocarcinoma; Molecular subtypes; Next generation sequencing

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center