Distribution of EGFR Mutations Commonly Observed in Primary Lung Adenocarcinomas in Pakistan as Predictors for Targeted Therapy


Background: Acquired genetic alterations and presence of sensitizing mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR and other signaling molecules have been found in different subsets of primary lung adenocarcinoma. The commonest EGFR mutations are small in frame deletions of exon 19 and a point mutation (L858R) in exon 21, having a combined occurrence of around 90%. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency and types of EGFR mutations in primary lung adenocarcinomas in Pakistan. Materials and
Methods: EGFRmutations in tumor samples were screened by multiplex real time PCR. Briefly, DNA from formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tissue was amplified with primers and probes specific to 43 different EGFR mutations in a Cobas z 480 instrument. The assay detects mutations in four exons (18-21) of the EGFR gene.
Results: Outof 94 patients, 65 were males and 29 females with a M:F ratio of 2.2: 1. The median age was 62 years (range, 28 - 85 years). In our biopsy samples 70 (74%) cases were of primary lung adenocarcinoma, whereas 24 (26%) were confirmed metastatic adenocarcinoma of primary lung origin. EGFR mutation was positive in 29% of the patients. The highest frequency of L858R was observed in 48% of these, followed by deletion in exon 19 (44%). In addition, other rare mutations such as compound G718X:S768I and insertions in exon 20 insertion were detected in approximately 4% of the patients.
Conclusions: This study showed that Del 19 and L858R are the most frequent mutations in Pakistani lung adenocarcinoma patients and around 29% of the patients were found eligible for erlotinib therapy.