To determine the proportion of lung adenocarcinomas from East Asian never-smokers who harbor known oncogenic driver mutations.
Patients and Methods
In this surgical series, 52 resected lung adenocarcinomas from never-smokers (< 100 cigarettes in a lifetime) at a single institution (Fudan University, Shanghai, China) were analyzed concurrently for mutations in EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, HER2, BRAF, ALK, PIK3CA, TP53 and LKB1.
Forty-one tumors harbored EGFR mutations, three harbored EML4-ALK fusions, two harbored HER2 insertions, and one harbored a KRAS mutation. All mutations were mutually exclusive. Thus, 90% (47 of 52; 95% CI, 0.7896 to 0.9625) of lung adenocarcinomas from never-smokers were found to harbor well-known oncogenic mutations in just four genes. No BRAF, NRAS, HRAS, or LKB1 mutations were detected, while 15 had TP53 mutations. Four tumors contained PIK3CA mutations, always together with EGFR mutations.
To our knowledge, this study represents the first comprehensive and concurrent analysis of major recurrent oncogenic mutations found in a large cohort of lung adenocarcinomas from East Asian never-smokers. Since drugs are now available that target mutant EGFR, HER2, and ALK, respectively, this result indicates that prospective mutation testing in these patients should successfully assign a targeted therapy in the majority of cases.
Our previous study revealed that 90% (47 of 52; 95% CI: 0.79–0.96) of Chinese never-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma harbor known oncogenic driver mutations in just four genes: EGFR, ALK, HER2, and KRAS. Here, we examined the status of known driver mutations specifically in female never-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma.
Tumors were genotyped for mutations in EGFR, KRAS, ALK, HER2, and BRAF. Data on age, stage, tumor differentiation, histological subtypes, and molecular alterations were recorded from 349 resected lung adenocarcinomas from female never-smokers. We further compared the clinicopathological parameters according to mutational status of these genes.
Two hundred and sixty-six (76.2%) tumors harbored EGFR mutations, 16 (4.6%) HER2 mutations, 15 (4.3%) EML4-ALK fusions, seven (2.0%) KRAS mutations, and two (0.6%) BRAF mutations. In univariate analysis, patients harboring EGFR mutations were significantly older (p<0.001), whereas patients harboring HER2 mutations were significantly younger (p=0.036). Higher prevalence of KRAS (p=0.028) and HER2 (p=0.021) mutations was found in invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (IMA). The frequency of EGFR mutations was positively correlated with acinar predominant tumors (p=0.002). Multivariate analysis revealed that older age at diagnosis (p=0.013) and acinar predominant subtype (p=0.005) were independent predictors of EGFR mutations. Independent predictors of HER2 mutations included younger age (p=0.030) and IMA (p=0.017). IMA (p=0.006) and poor differentiation (p=0.028) were independently associated with KRAS mutations.
The frequency of driver mutations in never-smoking female lung adenocarcinoma varies with histological subtypes and age at diagnosis. These data have implications for both clinical trial design and therapeutic strategies.
Lung adenocarcinoma; Female; Never smoker; EGFR mutation; HER2 mutation; Acinar; Mucinous; Age
The EML4-ALK fusion oncogene represents a novel molecular target in a small subset of non–small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC). To aid in identification and treatment of these patients, we examined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients who had NSCLC with and without EML4-ALK.
Patients and Methods
Patients with NSCLC were selected for genetic screening on the basis of two or more of the following characteristics: female sex, Asian ethnicity, never/light smoking history, and adenocarcinoma histology. EML4-ALK was identified by using fluorescent in situ hybridization for ALK rearrangements and was confirmed by immunohistochemistry for ALK expression. EGFR and KRAS mutations were determined by DNA sequencing.
Of 141 tumors screened, 19 (13%) were EML4-ALK mutant, 31 (22%) were EGFR mutant, and 91 (65%) were wild type (WT/WT) for both ALK and EGFR. Compared with the EGFR mutant and WT/WT cohorts, patients with EML4-ALK mutant tumors were significantly younger (P < .001 and P = .005) and were more likely to be men (P = .036 and P = .039). Patients with EML4-ALK–positive tumors, like patients who harbored EGFR mutations, also were more likely to be never/light smokers compared with patients in the WT/WT cohort (P < .001). Eighteen of the 19 EML4-ALK tumors were adenocarcinomas, predominantly the signet ring cell subtype. Among patients with metastatic disease, EML4-ALK positivity was associated with resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Patients in the EML4-ALK cohort and the WT/WT cohort showed similar response rates to platinum-based combination chemotherapy and no difference in overall survival.
EML4-ALK defines a molecular subset of NSCLC with distinct clinical characteristics. Patients who harbor this mutation do not benefit from EGFR TKIs and should be directed to trials of ALK-targeted agents.
The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of known oncogenic driver mutations in female never-smoker Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma. We analyzed 214 mutations across 26 lung cancer-associated genes and three fusion genes using the MassARRAY® LungCarta Panel and the ALK, ROS1, and RET fusion assays in 198 consecutively resected lung adenocarcinomas from never-smoker females at a single institution. EGFR mutation, which was the most frequent driver gene mutation, was detected in 124 (63%) cases. Mutation of ALK, KRAS, PIK3CA, ERBB2, BRAF, ROS1, and RET genesoccurred in 7%, 4%, 2.5%, 1.5%, 1%, 1%, and 1% of cases, respectively. Thus, 79% of lung adenocarcinomas from never-smoker females harbored well-known oncogenic mutations. Mucinous adenocarcinomas tended to have a lower frequency of known driver gene mutations than other histologic subtypes. EGFR mutation was associated with older age and a predominantly acinar pattern, while ALK rearrangement was associated with younger age and a predominantly solid pattern. Lung cancer in never-smoker Asian females is a distinct entity, with the majority of these cancers developing from oncogenic mutations.
non-small cell lung cancer; adenocarcinoma; never-smoker female; driver mutation; EGFR
It is important to select appropriate targeted therapies for subgroups of patients with lung adenocarcinoma who have specific gene alterations.
This prospective study was a multicenter project conducted in Taiwan for assessment of lung adenocarcinoma genetic tests. Five oncogenic drivers, including EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, HER2 and EML4-ALK fusion mutations, were tested. EGFR, KRAS, BRAF and HER2 mutations were assessed by MALDI-TOF MS (Cohort 1). EML4-ALK translocation was tested by Ventana method in EGFR-wild type patients (Cohort 2).
From August 2011 to November 2013, a total of 1772 patients with lung adenocarcinoma were enrolled. In Cohort 1 analysis, EGFR, KRAS, HER2 and BRAF mutations were identified in 987 (55.7%), 93 (5.2%), 36 (2.0%) and 12 (0.7%) patients, respectively. Most of these mutations were mutually exclusive, except for co-mutations in seven patients (3 with EGFR + KRAS, 3 with EGFR + HER2 and 1 with KRAS + BRAF). In Cohort 2 analysis, 29 of 295 EGFR-wild type patients (9.8%) were positive for EML4-ALK translocation. EGFR mutations were more common in female patients and non-smokers and KRAS mutations were more common in male patients and smokers. Gender and smoking status were not correlated significantly with HER2, BRAF and EML4-ALK mutations. EML4-ALK translocation was more common in patients with younger age.
This was the first study in Taiwan to explore the incidence of five oncogenic drivers in patients with lung adenocarcinoma and the results could be valuable for physicians in consideration of targeted therapy and inclusion of clinical trials.
Despite considerable recent progress in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma, there has been little progress in the development of efficacious molecular targeted therapies for squamous cell lung cancer. In addition to the recent comprehensive genome-wide characterization of squamous cell lung cancer, it is also important to genotype this form of cancer. We therefore conducted the Shizuoka Lung Cancer Mutation Study to analyze driver mutations in patients with thoracic malignancies. Here we report the results of genotyping in patients with squamous cell lung cancer.
Based on the biobanking system, in conjunction with the clinic and pathology lab, we developed a genotyping panel designed to assess 24 mutations in 10 genes (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, MEK1, AKT1, PTEN, HER2 and DDR2), EGFR, MET, PIK3CA, FGFR1 and FGFR2 copy numbers, and EML4-ALK and ROS1 translocations, using pyrosequencing plus capillary electrophoresis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcription PCR, respectively.
A total of 129 patients with squamous cell lung cancer and adenosquamous carcinoma were enrolled in this study between July 2011 and November 2012. We detected genetic alterations in 40% of all cases. Gene alterations included: EGFR mutations, 6%; KRAS mutations, 4%; PIK3CA mutations, 13%; NRAS mutations, 1%; KIF5b-RET fusion gene, 1%; EGFR copy number gain, 5%; PIK3CA copy number gain, 15%; and FGFR1 copy number gain, 5%. Twelve patients (9%) harbored simultaneous genetic alterations. Genetic alterations were detected more frequently in surgically-resected, snap-frozen samples than in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples (50% vs. 29%). In addition, patients aged ≤70 years old and never-smokers showed high frequencies of genetic alterations.
This study represents one of the largest prospective tumor-genotyping studies to be performed in Asian patients with squamous cell lung cancer. These results suggest that incorporation of genetic profiling into lung cancer clinical practice may facilitate the administration of personalized cancer treatments in patients with squamous cell lung cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-786) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lung cancer; Squamous cell carcinoma; Adenosquamos carcinoma; Genetic profiling; Driver mutation; PIK3CA mutation; FGFR1 copy number gain
The translocations of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene with the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene on chromosome 2p have been identified in non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) as oncogenic driver mutations. It has been suggested that EML4-ALK fusion is associated with the resistance in NSCLCs to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs), such as gefitinib and erlotinib. In contrast, ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (ALK TKI) crizotinib has shown superior effects in combating NSCLCs with EML4-ALK. Thus, characterization of EML4-ALK fusion genes and clinical features of resulting carcinomas would be a great benefit to disease diagnosis and designing customized treatment plans. Studies have suggested that EML4-ALK translocation occurs more frequently in never-smokers with NSCLC, especially in female patients. However, it is not clear whether this is the case in male patients, too. In this study, we have determined the frequency of EML4-ALK translocation in male never-smokers with NSCLC in a cohort of Chinese patients. The clinical features associated with EML4-ALK translocation were also investigated.
A cohort of 95 Chinese male never-smokers with NSCLC was enrolled in this study. EML4-ALK fusion genes were detected using one-step real time RT-PCR and DNA sequencing. We further determined the expression levels of ALK mRNA by RT-PCR and ALK protein by immunohistochemistry in these specimens. The clinical features of EML4-ALK–positive carcinomas were also determined.
We have identified EML4-ALK fusion genes in 8 out of 95 carcinoma cases, accounting for 8.42% in Chinese male never-smokers with NSCLC. It is significantly higher than that in all Chinese male patients (3.44%) regardless smoking habit. It is also significantly higher than that in all Chinese smokers (8/356 or 2.25%) or in smokers worldwide (2.9%) by comparing to published data. Interestingly, EML4-ALK fusion genes are more frequently found in younger patients and associated with less-differentiated carcinomas.
The frequency of EML4-ALK translocation is strongly associated with smoking habits in Chinese male patients with higher frequency in male never-smokers. EML4-ALK translocation is associated with early-onset and less-differentiated carcinomas.
Non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs); Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK); Echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4); Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs); Never-smokers; Adenocarcinoma
The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene is frequently involved in translocations that lead to gene fusions in a variety of human malignancies, including lymphoma and lung cancer. Fusion partners of ALK include NPM, EML4, TPM3, ATIC, TFG, CARS, and CLTC. Characterization of ALK fusion patterns and their resulting clinicopathological profiles could be of great benefit in better understanding the biology of lung cancer.
RACE-coupled PCR sequencing was used to assess ALK fusions in a cohort of 103 non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients. Within this cohort, the EML4-ALK fusion gene was identified in 12 tumors (11.6%). Further analysis revealed that EML4-ALK was present at a frequency of 16.13% (10/62) in patients with adenocarcinomas, 19.23% (10/52) in never-smokers, and 42.80% (9/21) in patients with adenocarcinomas lacking EGFR and KRAS mutations. The EML4-ALK fusion was associated with non-smokers (P = 0.03), younger age of onset (P = 0.03), and adenocarcinomas without EGFR/KRAS mutations (P = 0.04). A trend towards improved survival was observed for patients with the EML4-ALK fusion, although it was not statistically significant (P = 0.20). Concurrent deletion in EGFR exon 19 and fusion of EML4-ALK was identified for the first time in a Chinese female patient with an adenocarcinoma. Analysis of ALK expression revealed that ALK mRNA levels were higher in tumors positive for the EML-ALK fusion than in negative tumors (normalized intensity of 21.99 vs. 0.45, respectively; P = 0.0018). However, expression of EML4 did not differ between the groups.
The EML4-ALK fusion gene was present at a high frequency in Chinese NSCLC patients, particularly in those with adenocarcinomas lacking EGFR/KRAS mutations. The EML4-ALK fusion appears to be tightly associated with ALK mRNA expression levels. RACE-coupled PCR sequencing is a highly sensitive method that could be used clinically for the identification of EML4-ALK-positive patients.
The EML4-ALK fusion gene has been recently identified in a small subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who respond positively to ALK inhibitors. The characteristics of the EML4-ALK fusion gene in Chinese patients with NSCLC are poorly understood. Here, we report on the prevalence of EML4-ALK, EGFR status and KRAS mutations in 208 Chinese patients with NSCLC. EGFR mutations were found in 24.5% (51/208) of patients. In concordance with previous reports, these mutations were identified at high frequencies in females (47.5% vs 15.0% in males; P<0.05); never-smokers (42.3% vs 13.9% in smokers; P<0.05), and adenocarcinoma patients (44.2% vs 8.0% in non-adenocarcinoma patients; P<0.05). There were only 2.88% (6/208) patients with KRAS mutations in our study group. We identified 7 patients who harbored the EML4-ALK fusion gene (3.37%, 7/208), including 4 cases with variant 3 (57.1%), 2 with variant 1, and 1 with variant 2. All positive cases corresponded to female patients (11.5%, 7/61). Six of the positive cases were non-smokers (7.69%, 6/78). The incidence of EML4-ALK translocation in female, non-smoking adenocarcinoma patients was as high as 15.2% (5/33). No EGFR/KRAS mutations were detected among the EML4-ALK positive patients. Pathological analysis showed no difference between solid signet-ring cell pattern (4/7) and mucinous cribriform pattern (3/7) in ALK-positive patients. Immunostaining showed intratumor heterogeneity of ALK rearrangement in primary carcinomas and 50% (3/6) of metastatic tumors with ALK-negative staining. Meta-analysis demonstrated that EML4-ALK translocation occurred in 4.84% (125/2580) of unselected patients with NSCLC, and was also predominant in non-smoking patients with adenocarcinoma. Taken together, EML4-ALK translocations were infrequent in the entire NSCLC patient population, but were frequent in the NSCLC subgroup of female, non-smoker, adenocarcinoma patients. There was intratumor heterogeneity of ALK rearrangement in primary carcinomas and at metastatic sites.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) - tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) is used for the patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer. Recently, phase III studies in the patients with EGFR-mutant demonstrated that EGFR-TKI monotherapy improved progression-free survival compared with platinum-doublet chemotherapy. The echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) - anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion oncogene represents one of the newest molecular targets in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients who harbor EML4-ALK fusions have been associated with a lack of EGFR or KRAS mutations.
We report a 39-year-old patient diagnosed as adenocarcinoma harboring EGFR mutation and EML4-ALK fusion gene. We treated this patient with erlotinib as the third line therapy, but no clinical benefit was obtained.
We experienced a rare case with EGFR mutation and EML4-ALK. Any clinical benefit using EGFR-TKI was not obtained in our case. The therapeutic choice for the patients with more than one driver mutations is unclear. We needs further understanding of the lung cancer molecular biology and the biomarker infomation.
Lung cancer; EGFR mutation; EML4-ALK; Erlotinib
The mutually exclusive pattern of the major driver oncogenes in lung cancer suggests that other mutually exclusive oncogenes exist. We performed a systematic search for tyrosine kinase (TK) fusions by screening all TKs for aberrantly high RNA expression levels of the 3′ kinase domain (KD) exons relative to more 5′ exons.
We studied 69 patients (including 5 never smokers and 64 current or former smokers) with lung adenocarcinoma negative for all major mutations in KRAS, EGFR, BRAF, MEK1, and HER2, and for ALK fusions (termed “pan-negative”). A NanoString-based assay was designed to query the transcripts of 90 TKs at two points: 5′ to the KD and within the KD or 3′ to it. Tumor RNAs were hybridized to the NanoString probes and analyzed for outlier 3′ to 5′ expression ratios. Presumed novel fusion events were studied by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and confirmatory RT-PCR and FISH.
We identified 1 case each of aberrant 3′ to 5′ ratios in ROS1 and RET. RACE isolated a GOPC-ROS1 (FIG-ROS1) fusion in the former and a KIF5B-RET fusion in the latter, both confirmed by RT-PCR. The RET rearrangement was also confirmed by FISH. The KIF5B-RET patient was one of only 5 never smokers in this cohort.
The KIF5B-RET fusion defines an additional subset of lung cancer with a potentially targetable driver oncogene enriched in never smokers with “pan-negative” lung adenocarcinomas. We also report for the first time in lung cancer the GOPC-ROS1 fusion previously characterized in glioma.
lung cancer; kinase; gene fusion; RET; ROS1; ALK
PIK3CA encodes the p110α subunit of the mitogenic signaling protein phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). PIK3CA mutations in the helical binding domain and the catalytic subunit of the protein have been associated with tumorigenesis and treatment resistance in various malignancies. Characteristics of patients with PIK3CA-mutant lung adenocarcinomas have not been reported.
We examined EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, HER2, PIK3CA, AKT1, NRAS, MEK1, and ALK in patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung to identify driver mutations. Clinical data were obtained from the medical records of individuals with mutations in PIK3CA.
Twenty-three of 1125 (2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1–3%) patients had a mutation in PIK3CA, 12 in Exon 9 (10 E545K, 2 E542K) and 11 in Exon 20 (3 H1047L, 8 H1047R). The patients (57% women) had a median age of 66 at diagnosis (range 34–78). Eight patients (35%) were never smokers. Sixteen of 23 (70%, 95% CI 49 – 86%) had coexisting mutations in other oncogenes - 10 KRAS, 1 MEK1, 1 BRAF, 1 ALK rearrangement, and 3 EGFR exon 19 deletions.
We conclude that PIK3CA mutations occur in lung adenocarcinomas, usually concurrently with EGFR, KRAS, and ALK. The impact of PIK3CA mutations on the efficacy of targeted therapies such as erlotinib and crizotinib is unknown. Given the high frequency of overlapping mutations, comprehensive genotyping should be performed on tumor specimens from patients enrolling on clinical trials of PI3K and other targeted therapies.
lung adenocarcinoma; oncogene; PIK3CA
We performed this analysis to improve the understanding of the clinicopathological characteristics and clinical outcome of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring the primary epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation along with activating EGFR mutation.
Resected tumors from 1903 NSCLC patients were analyzed for mutation in EGFR, as well as KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog), BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B), HER2 (human epidermal growth factor 2), PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha), and EML4 (echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4)–ALK (anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase) fusion. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed to define EGFR and c-MET (met proto-oncogene gene amplification. Expression of PIK3CA and p-Akt (phosphorylated protein kinase B) were tested using immunohistochemistry. Clinical and pathological data, including sex, age at diagnosis, stage, tumor differentiation, smoking history, histological subtype, relapse-free and overall survival, were further analyzed.
In all, 16 NSCLC patients were found to harbor primary EGFR T790M mutation, including 14 adenocarcinomas and two adenosquamous carcinomas, accounting for 2.04% of all the EGFR mutant cases and 0.84% of the total. No c-MET amplification was found to coexist with primary EGFR T790M. Fewer EGFR copy-number variations were found in samples harboring EGFR T790M mutations compared with those in patients with exon 19 deletions and L858R. Overall survival was significantly shorter for patients harboring EGFR T790M mutation than it was for patients with exon 19 deletions (logrank P=0.008). When taking patients harboring EGFR L858R or exon 19 deletions as one group, the overall survival was also significantly longer than that in patients with T790M mutation (logrank P=0.012). There was no significant difference in relapse-free survival among three subgroups of patients.
Our study described the clinicopathological and molecular characteristics of NSCLC patients harboring primary EGFR T790M mutations. Its value of being a predictor for worse prognosis was established. Primary EGFR T790M mutation is a rare event in NSCLC cases, but the therapeutic strategies for this subtype of patients should be precisely considered.
driver mutation; survival; clinicopathological profile; EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor; acquired resistance
Targeting activating oncogenic driver mutations in lung adenocarcinoma has led to prolonged survival in patients harboring these specific genetic alterations. The prognostic value of these mutations has not yet been elucidated. The prevalence of recently uncovered non-coding somatic mutation in promoter region of TERT gene is also to be validated in lung cancer. The purpose of this study is to show the prevalence, association with clinicalpathological features and prognostic value of these factors.
In a cohort of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (n = 174, including 107 lung adenocarcinoma and 67 lung squamous cell carcinoma), EGFR, KRAS, HER2 and BRAF were directly sequenced in lung adeoncarcinoma, ALK fusions were screened using FISH (Fluorescence in situ Hybridization).TERT promoter region was sequenced in all of the 174 NSCLC samples. Associations of these somatic mutations and clinicopathological features, as well as prognostic factors were evaluated.
EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF mutation and ALK fusion were mutated in 25.2%, 6.5%, 1.9%, 0.9% and 3.7% of lung adenocarcinomas. No TERT promoter mutation was validated by reverse-sided sequencing. Lung adenocarcinoma with EGFR and KRAS mutations showed no significant difference in Disease-free Survival (DFS) and Overall Survival (OS). Cox Multi-variate analysis revealed that only N stage and HER2 mutation were independent predictors of worse overall survival (HR = 1.653, 95% CI 1.219–2.241, P = 0.001; HR = 12.344, 95% CI 2.615–58.275, P = 0.002).
We have further confirmed that TERT promoter mutation may only exist in a very small fraction of NSCLCs. These results indicate that dividing lung adenocarcinoma into molecular subtypes according to oncogenic driver mutations doesn't predict survival difference of the disease.
In contrast to other primary EGFR mutations in lung adenocarcinomas, insertions in exon 20 of EGFR have been generally associated with resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Their molecular spectrum, clinicopathologic characteristics and prevalence are not well established. Tumors harboring EGFR exon 20 insertions were identified through an algorithmic screen of 1500 lung adenocarcinomas. Cases were first tested for common mutations in EGFR (exons 19 and 21) and KRAS (exon 2) and, if negative, further analyzed for EGFR exon 20 insertions. All samples underwent extended genotyping for other driver mutations in EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA, MEK1 and AKT by mass spectrometry; a subset was evaluated for ALK rearrangements. We identified 33 EGFR exon 20 insertion cases (2.2%, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.1%), all mutually exclusive with mutations in the other genes tested (except PIK3CA). They were more common among never-smokers (p<0.0001). There was no association with age, sex, race, or stage. Morphologically, tumors were similar to those with common EGFR mutations, but with frequent solid histology. Insertions were highly variable in position and size, ranging from 3 to 12bp, resulting in 13 different insertions which, by molecular modeling, are predicted to have potentially different effects on erlotinib binding. EGFR exon 20 insertion testing identifies a distinct subset of lung adenocarcinomas, accounting for at least 9% of all EGFR mutated cases, representing the third most common type of EGFR mutation after exon 19 deletions and L858R. Insertions are structurally heterogeneous with potential implications for response to EGFR inhibitors.
EGFR exon 20; EGFR; epidermal growth factor receptor; lung adenocarcinoma; driver oncogenes
Lung adenocarcinomas have diverse genetic and morphological backgrounds and are usually classified according to their distinct oncogenic mutations (or so-called driver mutations) and histological subtypes (the de novo classification proposed by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society [IASLC/ATS/ERS]). Although both these classifications are essential for personalized treatment, their integrated clinical effect remains unclear. Therefore, we analyzed 981 lung adenocarcinomas to detect the potential correlation and combined effect of oncogenic mutations and histological subtype on prognosis. Analysis for oncogenic mutations included the direct sequencing of EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF, PIK3CA, ALK, and RET for oncogenic mutations/rearrangements, and a rereview of the IASLC/ATS/ERS classification was undertaken. Eligible tumors included 13 atypical adenomatous hyperplasia/adenocarcinoma in situ, 20 minimally invasive adenocarcinomas, 901 invasive adenocarcinomas, 44 invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas, and three other variants. The invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas had a lower prevalence of EGFR mutations but a higher prevalence of KRAS, ALK, and HER2 mutations than invasive adenocarcinomas. Smoking, a solid predominant pattern, and a mucinous component were independently associated with fewer EGFR mutations. The ALK rearrangements were more frequently observed in tumors with a minor mucinous component, while the KRAS mutations were more prevalent in smokers. In addition, 503 patients with stage I–IIIA tumors were analyzed for overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival. The stage and histological pattern were independent predictors of relapse-free survival, and the pathological stage was the only independent predictor for the OS. Although patients with the EGFR mutations had better OS than those without the mutations, no oncogenic mutation was an independent predictor of survival. Oncogenic mutations were associated with the novel IASLC/ATS/ERS classification, which facilitates a morphology-based mutational analysis strategy. The combination of these two classifications might not increase the prognostic ability, but it provides essential information for personalized treatment.
oncogenic mutation; IASLC/ATS/ERS classification; personalized treatment; molecular testing; prognosis
BRAF mutations occur in non–small-cell lung cancer. Therapies targeting BRAF mutant tumors have recently been identified. We undertook this study to determine the clinical characteristics of patients with lung adenocarcinomas harboring BRAF mutations.
Patients and Methods
We reviewed data from consecutive patients with lung adenocarcinoma whose tumors underwent BRAF, EGFR, and KRAS mutation testing as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization for ALK rearrangements. Patient characteristics including age, sex, race, performance status, smoking history, stage, treatment history, and overall survival were collected.
Among 697 patients with lung adenocarcinoma, BRAF mutations were present in 18 patients (3%; 95% CI, 2% to 4%). The BRAF mutations identified were V600E (50%), G469A (39%), and D594G (11%). Mutations in EGFR were present in 24%, KRAS in 25%, and ALK translocations in 6%. In contrast to patients with EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements who were mostly never smokers, all patients with BRAF mutations were current or former smokers (P < .001). The median overall survival of advanced-stage patients with BRAF mutations was not reached. In comparison, the median overall survival of patients with EGFR mutations was 37 months (P = .73), with KRAS mutations was 18 months (P = .12), and with ALK rearrangements was not reached (P = .64).
BRAF mutations occur in 3% of patients with lung adenocarcinoma and occur more commonly in current and former smokers. The incidence of BRAF mutations other than V600E is significantly higher in lung cancer than in melanoma.
Inherited susceptibility to lung cancer is understudied. Never smokers are an important subgroup of patients enriched for tumors harboring oncogene aberrations in the EGFR and ALK genes. We aimed to better characterize the incidence of family history of lung cancer among never smokers with NSCLC.
Clinicopathologic data, tumor genotype, family history of cancer, and specifically family history of lung cancer from 230 consecutive never smokers was retrospectively compiled and analyzed.
In our cohort, the median age was 56 years, 67% were women, 75% were white, 59% had advanced NSCLC and 87% had adenocarcinoma histology. In these tumors, 98/230 (42%) had an EGFR mutation, 17/155 (11%) had KRAS mutations and 27/127 (21%) had an ALK translocation. Family history of any cancer was common (57%) and specific family history of lung cancer was present in 42/230 cases (18%). The percentage of cases with family history of lung cancer was higher in the EGFR mutated versus EGFR wild-type NSCLCs. Out of the cases with a family history of any cancer, 22/53 (41.5%) EGFR mutated, 1/5 (20%) KRAS mutated and 3/19 (15.5%) ALK translocated cohorts had a family history of lung cancer. The ratio of family history of lung cancer to family history of cancer was significantly higher in the EGFR mutated cohort when compared to the ALK translocated plus KRAS mutated cohorts (p=0.039).
Family history of lung cancer is common in never smokers with NSCLC, and there seems to be a particular link in families in which the proband has an EGFR mutated tumor when compared to ALK translocated or KRAS mutated tumors. Further study of families with EGFR-mutated NSCLC may yield insights into the pathogenesis of this tumor type.
lung cancer; non-small-cell lung cancer; family history; never smokers; epidermal growth factor receptor; EGFR; anaplastic lymphoma kinase; ALK; KRAS
We previously demonstrated that stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) never smokers lived 50% longer than former/current smokers. This observation persisted after adjusting for age, performance status, and gender. We hypothesized that smoking-dependent differences in the distribution of driver mutations might explain differences in prognosis between these subgroups.
We reviewed 293 never smokers and 382 former/current smokers with lung adenocarcinoma who underwent testing for EGFR and KRAS mutations and rearrangements in ALK between 2009 and 2010. Clinical outcomes and patient characteristics were collected. Survival probabilities were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Group comparison was performed with log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards methods.
While the overall incidence of these mutations was nearly identical (55% never smokers vs. 57% current/former smokers, p=0.48), there were significant differences in the distribution of mutations between these groups: EGFR mutations- 37% never smokers vs. 14% former/current smokers (p<0.0001); KRAS mutations- 4% never smokers vs. 43% former/current smokers (p<0.0001); ALK rearrangements- 12% never smokers vs. 2% former/current smokers (p<0.0001). Among never smokers and former/current smokers, prognosis differed significantly by genotype. Patients harboring KRAS mutations demonstrated the poorest survival. Smoking status, however, had no influence on survival within each genotype.
Never smokers and former/current smokers with lung adenocarcinomas are not homogeneous subgroups. Each is made up of individuals whose tumors have a unique distribution of driver mutations which are associated with different prognoses, irrespective of smoking history.
non-small cell lung cancer; adenocarcinoma; EGFR; KRAS; ALK; never smoker
The youthful lung cancer may constitute an entity with distinct clinicopathologic characteristics and a controversial prognosis compared with the older counterpart. Whether the youthful lung cancer has the exclusively distinct molecular features has not been well investigated.
Thirty-six resected lung adenocarcinomas from young patients under 40 years old were analyzed concurrently for mutations in EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF, AKT1, ALK, RET, TP53 and LKB1 and enrolled as the younger group. Their molecular and clinicopathologic characteristics were compared with those of 87 adenocarcinoma cases from patients above 40 years old which were collected as the older group.
The comparable overall survival (OS) (P=0.942), more early adenocarcinomas (P=0.033), more wedge resections (P<0.001) and fewer smokers (P=0.004) were seen in the younger group, when compared with the clinicopathologic characteristics in the older group. Nineteen EGFR mutations (52.8%), 3 KRAS mutations (8.3%), 2 EML4-ALK fusions (5.6%) and 1 KIF5b-RET fusion (2.8%) were identified in the younger group. The difference of oncogenic mutations between the two groups was statistically insignificant (P=0.396). Twenty-six TP53 mutations (72.2%) and 4 LKB1 mutations (11.1%) were found in the younger group. When compared with the old patients, young patients showed a higher prevalence of TP53 mutations (P<0.001) and a comparable prevalence of LKB1 mutations (P=0.951).
The youthful lung cancer unequivocally presented the distinct clinicopathologic characteristics including more early adenocarcinomas and fewer smokers. It showed the similar oncogenic characteristics and higher prevalence of TP53 mutations compared with the older counterpart.
The youthful lung cancer; clinicopathologic characteristic; oncogene; tumor suppressor gene; mutation analysis
To determine the prevalence and clinicopathological characteristics of BRAF V600E mutation and HER2 exon 20 insertions in Chinese lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) patients.
Given the fact that the driver mutations are mutually exclusive in lung ADCs, 204 EGFR/KRAS wild-type cases were enrolled in this study. Direct Sanger sequencing was performed to examine BRAF V600E and HER2 exon 20 mutations. The association of BRAF and HER2 mutations with clinicopathological characteristics was statistically analyzed.
Among the 204 lung ADCs tested, 11 cases (5.4%) carried HER2 exon 20 insertions and 4 cases (2.0%) had BRAF V600E mutation. HER2 mutation status was identified to be associated with a non-smoking history (p<0.05). HER2 mutation occurs in 9.4% of never smokers (10/106), 8.7% of female (8/92) and 2.7% of male (3/112) in this selected cohort. All four BRAF mutated patients were women and three of them were never-smokers. No HER2 mutant patients harbor BRAF mutation.
HER2 and BRAF mutations identify a distinct subset of lung ADCs. Given the high prevalence of lung cancer and the availability of targeted therapy, Chinese lung ADC patients without EGFR and KRAS mutations are recommended for HER2 and BRAF mutations detection, especially for those never smokers.
Activating mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of HER2 (ERBB2) have been described in a subset of lung adenocarcinomas (ADCs) and are mutually exclusive with EGFR and KRAS mutations. The prevalence, clinicopathologic characteristics, prognostic implications, and molecular heterogeneity of HER2-mutated lung ADCs are not well established in US patients.
Lung ADC samples (n=1478) were first screened for mutations in EGFR (exons 19 and 21) and KRAS (exon 2) and negative cases were then assessed for HER2 mutations (exons 19–20) using a sizing assay and mass spectrometry. Testing for additional recurrent point mutations in EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA, MEK1 and AKT was performed by mass spectrometry. ALK rearrangements and HER2 amplification were assessed by FISH.
We identified 25 cases with HER2 mutations, representing 6% of EGFR/KRAS/ALK-negative specimens. Small insertions in exon 20 accounted for 96% (24/25) of the cases. Compared to insertions in EGFR exon 20, there was less variability, with 83% (20/24) being a 12bp insertion causing duplication of amino acids YVMA at codon 775. Morphologically, 92% (23/25) were moderately or poorly differentiated ADC. HER2 mutation was not associated with concurrent HER2 amplification in 11 cases tested for both. HER2 mutations were more frequent among never-smokers (p<0.0001) but there were no associations with sex, race, or stage.
HER2 mutations identify a distinct subset of lung ADCs. Given the high prevalence of lung cancer worldwide and the availability of standard and investigational therapies targeting HER2, routine clinical genotyping of lung ADC should include HER2.
HER2; ERBB2; lung adenocarcinoma; EGFR; driver oncogenes
Meta-analyses were conducted to characterize patterns of mutation incidence in non small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Nine genes with the most complete published mutation coincidence data were evaluated. One meta-analysis generated a ‘mutMap’ to visually represent mutation coincidence by ethnicity (Western/Asian) and histology (adenocarcinoma [ADC] or squamous cell carcinoma). Another meta-analysis evaluated incidence of individual mutations. Extended analyses explored incidence of EGFR and KRAS mutations by ethnicity, histology, and smoking status.
Genes evaluated were TP53, EGFR, KRAS, LKB1, EML4-ALK, PTEN, BRAF, PIK3CA, and ErbB2. The mutMap highlighted mutation coincidences occurring in ≥5% of patients, including TP53 with KRAS or EGFR mutations in patients with ADC, and TP53 with LKB1 mutation in Western patients. TP53 was the most frequently mutated gene overall. Frequencies of TP53, EGFR, KRAS, LKB1, PTEN, and BRAF mutations were influenced by histology and/or ethnicity. Although EGFR mutations were most frequent in patients with ADC and never/light smokers from Asia, and KRAS mutations were most frequent in patients with ADC and ever/heavy smokers from Western countries, both were detected outside these subgroups.
Potential molecular pathology segments of NSCLC were identified. Further studies of mutations in NSCLC are warranted to facilitate more specific diagnoses and guide treatment.
geography; histology; lung cancer; mutation coincidence; oncogenes
Comprehensive biological characteristics of pulmonary adenocarcinomas with signet ring cell features (SRC+) are not well known. Herein, we systematically evaluated clinical and molecular features of SRC+ cases with particular attention to smoking status. Surgically treated lung adenocarcinomas (n=763) with follow-up ≥5 years in 3 cohorts were reviewed: all patients in 2006 to 2007 (“all-comers,” n=222; 168 ever-smokers), a never-smoker cohort (n=266), and a cohort of ever-smokers (n=275). SRC+ tumors had ≥10% of SRCs agreed by 2 pathologists. SRC+ cases were tested for rearrangement of ALK and ROS1, as well as 187 known mutations in 10 oncogenes including EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2, JAK2, AKT1, AKT2, KIT, MET, and PIK3CA. Overall, 53 of 763 cases (7%) were SRC+. In the 2006 to 2007 “all comer” cohort, 9% were SRC+. In the never-smoker cohort, 9% were SRC+. In the smoker cohort, 3% were SRC+. Univariable analysis showed that SRC+ never-smokers had shorter overall and disease-free survival (P=0.006 and 0.0004, respectively), but the significance faded in the multivariable analysis. For the other 2 cohorts, crude 5-year survival was decreased by 6% to 27% in SRC+ cases without reaching statistical significance. In SRC+ tumors, KRAS mutation was most common (29%), followed by ALK (26%), EGFR (18%), ROS1 (6%), BRAF (6%), and PIK3CA (3%). In summary, SRC+ tumors in never-smokers had a worse survival by univariable analysis only. SRC+ cases seemed enriched for ALK+ and ROS1+, and other mutations were generally in keeping with the patient’s smoking status.
signet ring cell; ALK; ROS1; lung; adenocarcinoma; smoking status; mutations; survival
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in many countries. Although recent advances in targeted therapy against driver oncogenes have significantly improved patient outcome, cure of this disease is still exceptional. Although tobacco is a known cause of lung cancer, not all smokers develop lung cancer, and conversely many patients, especially Asian female patients with lung cancer, are lifetime never-smokers. Therefore, efforts to understand the basis for different susceptibilities to lung cancer among individuals with different genetic, biologic, ethnic, and social backgrounds are important to help develop effective preventive measures. Lung cancer in never-smokers has many different characteristics to lung cancer in smokers, such as adenocarcinoma predominance and high frequency of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation yet low number of genetic changes. Epidemiologic studies suggest that East Asians are more susceptible to smoking-unrelated lung cancer but less susceptible to smoking-related lung cancer compared with Caucasians. Mutations in the EGFR gene are more common in Asian females and never-smokers. Our case-control study suggests that EGFR mutation occurs independent of smoking, and that the apparent low frequency of EGFR mutations in smokers may be the result of dilution by smoking-related lung cancer. The frequencies of three EGFR gene polymorphisms associated with increased protein expression are significantly different between East Asians and Caucasians, favoring lower protein expression in East Asians. Although these may be associated with preferred expression of the EGFR mutant allele, it is difficult to explain the frequent EGFR mutation in Asian patients. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) revealed several loci related to lung cancer susceptibility. In the future, GWAS may identify loci that are specifically related to EGFR-targeted carcinogenesis, leading to identification of carcinogens that induce EGFR mutations and effective prevention measures.
Susceptibility; tobacco smoke; never smokers; ethnic difference; adenocarcinoma; genome wide association studies (GWAS)