The aim of the current study was to determine the clinical significance according to the subtypes of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and presence of KRAS mutations in operable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We sequenced exons 18-21 of the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain and examined mutations in codons 12 and 13 of KRAS in tissues of patients with NSCLC who had undergone surgical resection. EGFR mutations were more frequent in never-smokers than smokers (33% vs. 14%, respectively; p=0.009) and in females than in males (31% vs. 16%, respectively; p=0.036). Mutations in exon 18-19 and 20-21 were found in 10 and 22 patients, respectively. Never-smokers and broncho-alveolar cell carcinoma features were positively associated with a mutation in exon 18-19 (p=0.027 and 0.016, respectively). The five-year survival rate in patients with a mutation in exons 18-19 (100%) was higher than that in patients without such mutation (47%; p=0.021). KRAS mutations were found in 16 patients (12%) and were not related to the overall survival (p=0.742). Patients with an EGFR mutation in exons 18-19 had better survival than patients without such mutation. Subtypes of EGFR mutations may be prognostic factors in patients undergoing curative resection.
Carcinoma, Non-small-cell Lung; Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor; Genes, Ras; Mutation
Mutations in the mitochondrial genome (mtgenome) have been associated with cancer and many other disorders. These mutations can be point mutations or deletions, or admixtures (heteroplasmy). The detection of mtDNA mutations in body fluids using resequencing microarrays, which are more sensitive than other sequencing methods, could provide a strategy to measure mutation loads in remote anatomical sites.
We determined the mtDNA mutation load in the entire mitochondrial genome of 26 individuals with different early stage cancers (lung, bladder, kidney) and 12 heavy smokers without cancer. MtDNA was sequenced from three matched specimens (blood, tumor and body fluid) from each cancer patient and two matched specimens (blood and sputum) from smokers without cancer. The inherited wildtype sequence in the blood was compared to the sequences present in the tumor and body fluid, detected using the Affymetrix Genechip® Human Mitochondrial Resequencing Array 1.0 and supplemented by capillary sequencing for noncoding region.
Using this high-throughput method, 75% of the tumors were found to contain mtDNA mutations, higher than in our previous studies, and 36% of the body fluids from these cancer patients contained mtDNA mutations. Most of the mutations detected were heteroplasmic. A statistically significantly higher heteroplasmy rate occurred in tumor specimens when compared to both body fluid of cancer patients and sputum of controls, and in patient blood compared to blood of controls. Only 2 of the 12 sputum specimens from heavy smokers without cancer (17%) contained mtDNA mutations. Although patient mutations were spread throughout the mtDNA genome in the lung, bladder and kidney series, a statistically significant elevation of tRNA and ND complex mutations was detected in tumors.
Our findings indicate comprehensive mtDNA resequencing can be a high-throughput tool for detecting mutations in clinical samples with potential applications for cancer detection, but it is unclear the biological relevance of these detected mitochondrial mutations. Whether the detection of tumor-specific mtDNA mutations in body fluidsy this method will be useful for diagnosis and monitoring applications requires further investigation.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are reported in different tumors. However, there is no information on the temporal development of the mtDNA mutations/content alteration and their extent in normal and abnormal mucosa continuously exposed to tobacco smoke in lung cancer patients.
We examined the pattern of mtDNA alteration (mtDNA mutation and content index) in 25 airway mucosal biopsies, corresponding tumors and normal lymph nodes obtained from three patients with primary lung cancers. In addition, we examined the pattern of mtDNA mutation in corresponding tumors and normal lymph nodes obtained from eight other patients with primary lung cancers. The entire 16.5 kb mitochondrial genome was sequenced on Affymetrix Mitochip v2.0 sequencing platform in every sample. To examine mtDNA content index, we performed real-time PCR analysis.
The airway mucosal biopsies obtained from three lung cancer patients were histopathologically negative but exhibited multiple clonal mtDNA mutations detectable in the corresponding tumors. One of the patients was operated twice for the removal of tumor from the right upper and left lower lobe respectively within a span of two years. Both of these tumors exhibited twenty identical mtDNA mutations. MtDNA content increased significantly (P<0.001) in the lung cancer and all the histologically negative mucosal biopsies except one compared to the control lymph node.
Our results document the extent of massive clonal patches that develop in lifetime smokers and ultimately give rise to clinically significant cancers. These observations shed light on the extent of disease in the airway of smokers traceable through mtDNA mutation. MtDNA mutation could be a reliable tool for molecular assessment of respiratory epithelium exposed to continuous smoke as well as disease detection and monitoring. Functional analysis of the pathogenic mtDNA mutations may be useful to understand their role in lung tumorigenesis.
This study was designed to determine the relationship of cigarette smoking to the frequency and qualitative differences among KRAS mutations in lung adenocarcinomas from Korean patients.
Materials and Methods
Detailed smoking histories were obtained from 200 consecutively enrolled patients with lung adenocarcinoma according to a standard protocol. EGFR (exons 18 to 21) and KRAS (codons 12/13) mutations were determined via direct-sequencing.
The incidence of KRAS mutations was 8% (16 of 200) in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. KRAS mutations were found in 5.8% (7 of 120) of tumors from never-smokers, 15% (6 of 40) from former-smokers, and 7.5% (3 of 40) from current-smokers. The frequency of KRAS mutations did not differ significantly according to smoking history (p=0.435). Never-smokers were significantly more likely than former or current smokers to have a transition mutation (G→A or C→T) rather than a transversion mutation (G→T or G→C) that is known to be smoking-related (p=0.011). In a Cox regression model, the adjusted hazard ratios for the risk of progression with epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) were 0.24 (95% CI, 0.14-0.42; p<0.001) for the EGFR mutation and 1.27 (95% CI, 0.58-2.79; p=0.537) for the KRAS mutation.
Cigarette smoking did not influence the frequency of KRAS mutations in lung adenocarcinomas in Korean patients, but influenced qualitative differences in the KRAS mutations.
EGFR; KRAS; pulmonary adenocarcinoma; cigarette smoking; EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors
The present study aims at understanding the timing and nature of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) alterations in urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) and their detection in urine sediments. The entire 16.5 kb mitochondrial genome was sequenced in matched normal lymphocytes, tumor and urine sediments from 31 UCC patients and compared with different clinical stages and histological grades. The mtDNA content index was examined in all the specimens. Sixty five percent (20/31) of the patients harbored at least 1 somatic mtDNA mutation. A total of 25 somatic mtDNA mutations were detected, which were more frequent in the respiratory complex coding regions (Complex-I, III, IV and V) of the mtDNA and significantly affected respiratory complex-III compared to the other complexes (P=0.021–0.039). Compared to stage Ta, mtDNA mutation was higher in stage T1 and significantly higher in stage T2 (P=0.01) patients. MtDNA mutation was also significantly higher (P=0.04) in stage T2 compared to stage T1 patients. Ninety percent (18/20) of the patients harboring mtDNA mutation in the tumor also had mutation in their urine sediments. Eighty percent (20/25) of the tumor-associated mtDNA mutations was detectable in the urine sediments. Compared to the normal lymphocytes, the mtDNA content increased significantly in the tumor (P=0.0013) and corresponding urine sediments (P=0.0025) in 19/25 (76%) patients analyzed. Our results indicate that mtDNA alterations occur frequently in progressive stages of UCC patients and are readily detectable in the urine sediments. MtDNA mutations appear to provide a promising tool for developing early detection and monitoring strategies for UCC patients.
Urothelial cell carcinoma; mitochondria; mtDNA alteration; urine detection
EGFR mutations underlie the sensitivity of lung cancers to erlotinib and gefitinib and can occur in any patient with this illness. Here we examine the frequency of EGFR mutations in smokers and men.
We determined the frequency of EGFR mutations and characterized their association with cigarette smoking status and male sex.
We tested 2,142 lung adenocarcinoma specimens for the presence of EGFR exon 19 deletions and L858R. EGFR mutations were found in 15% of tumors from former smokers (181 of 1,218; 95% CI, 13% to 17%), 6% from current smokers (20 of 344; 95% CI, 4% to 9%), and 52% from never smokers (302 of 580; 95% CI, 48% to 56%; P < .001 for ever v never smokers). EGFR mutations in former or current smokers represented 40% of all those detected (201 of 503; 95% CI, 36% to 44%). EGFR mutations were found in 19% (157 of 827; 95% CI, 16% to 22%) of tumors from men and 26% (346 of 1,315; 95% CI, 24% to 29%) of tumors from women (P < .001). EGFR mutations in men represented 31% (157 of 503; 95% CI, 27% to 35%) of all those detected.
A large number of EGFR mutations are found in adenocarcinoma tumor specimens from men and people who smoked cigarettes. If only women who were never smokers were tested, 57% of all EGFR mutations would be missed. Testing for EGFR mutations should be considered for all patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung at diagnosis, regardless of clinical characteristics. This strategy can extend the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors to the greatest number individuals with the potential for substantial benefit.
DNA alterations in mitochondria are believed to play a role in carcinogenesis and are found in smoking-related cancers. We sought to replicate earlier findings for the association of smoking with increased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content in buccal cells and further hypothesized that there would be an increased number of somatic mtDNA mutations in smokers. Buccal cells and blood lymphocytes were studied from 42 healthy smokers and 30 non-smokers. Temporal temperature gradient electrophoresis screening and sequencing was used to identify mtDNA mutations. The relative mtDNA content was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Assuming that mtDNA in lymphocytes represents the inherited sequence, it was found that 31% of smokers harbored at least one somatic mtDNA mutation in buccal cells with a total of 39 point mutations and 8 short deletions/insertions. In contrast, only 23% of non-smokers possessed mutations with a total of 10 point mutations and no insertions/deletions detected. mtDNA somatic mutation density was higher in smokers (0.68/10 000 bp per person) than in non-smokers (0.2/10 000 bp per person). There was a statistically significant difference in the pattern of homoplasmy and heteroplasmy mutation changes between smokers and non-smokers. Whereas non-smokers had the most mutations in D-loop region (70%), smokers had mutations in both messenger RNA encoding gene (36%) and D-loop region (49%). The mean ratio of buccal cells to lymphocytes of mtDNA content in smokers was increased (2.81) when compared with non-smokers (0.46). These results indicate that cigarette smoke exposure affects mtDNA in buccal cells of smokers. Additional studies are needed to determine if mitochondrial mutation assays provide new or complementary information for estimating cigarette smoke exposure at the cellular level or as a cancer risk biomarker.
Mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were identified by re-sequencing all exons of this gene to evaluate the frequencies of EGFR gene mutation and identify rare or novel EGFR mutations. A total of 55 NSCLC samples from 55 patients were included in the study. Genomic DNA was extracted and exons 1–28 of the EGFR gene were sequenced to identify mutations. The cDNA of the EGFR gene with P848L and T790M double mutants was constructed by introducing point mutations into the wild-type EGFR vector using a site-directed mutagenesis kit. Among the 55 patients with NSCLC, 8 patients carried mutations of the EGFR gene. Notably, of the mutation-harboring patients with a pathological type of adenocarcinoma, 6 were non-smokers. The in vitro study demonstrated that the P848L mutant had a similar response to that of the wild-type EGFR after gefitinib treatment, and the P848L and T790M double mutant exhibited high resistance to gefitinib. These EGFR mutations preferentially occurred in lung adenocarcinoma patients, most of whom were non-smokers. In the in vitro study, P848L mutant EGFR had a similar response as the wild-type EGFR to gefitinib treatment, suggesting that lung cancer patients with a rare mutation of EGFR, such as the P848L mutation, do not respond to gefitinib treatment.
non-small cell lung cancer; epidermal growth factor receptor; mutation; functional study
We report the results of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of tumor and adjacent normal tissue samples from 17 patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). We identified 3,726 point mutations and over 90 indels in the coding sequence, with an average mutation frequency more than 10-fold higher in smokers than in never-smokers. Novel alterations in genes involved in chromatic modification and DNA repair pathways were identified along with DACH1, CFTR, RELN, ABCB5, and HGF. Deep digital sequencing revealed diverse clonality patterns in both never smokers and smokers. All validated EFGR and KRAS mutations were present in the founder clones, suggesting possible roles in cancer initiation. Analysis revealed 14 fusions including ROS1 and ALK as well as novel metabolic enzymes. Cell cycle and JAK-STAT pathways are significantly altered in lung cancer along with perturbations in 54 genes that are potentially targetable with currently available drugs.
Although TP53 mutations have been widely studied in lung cancer, the majority of studies have focused on exons 5-8 of the gene. In addition, TP53 mutations in Korean patients with lung cancers have not been investigated. We searched for mutations in the entire coding exons, including splice sites of the gene, in Korean patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Mutations of the gene were determined by direct sequencing in 176 NSCLCs. Sixty-nine mutations (62 different mutations) were identified in 65 tumors. Of the 62 mutations, 12 were novel mutations. TP53 mutations were more frequent in males, ever-smokers and squamous cell carcinomas than in females, never-smokers and adenocarcinomas, respectively (all comparisons, P<0.001). Missense mutations were most common (52.2%), but frameshift, nonsense, and splice-site mutations were frequently observed at frequencies of 18.8%, 15.9% and 10.1%, respectively. Of the 69 mutations, 9 (13.0%) were found in the oligomerization domain. In addition, the proportion of mutations in the oligomerization domain was significantly higher in adenocarcinomas than in squamous cell carcinomas (23.5% vs. 2.9%, P=0.01). Our study provides clinical and molecular characteristics of TP53 mutations in Korean patients with NSCLCs.
Lung Neoplasms; Mutation; Genes, p53
Activating mutations in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) are common in lung adenocarcinoma of never smokers but are rare in other types of cancer. Here we have analysed mutations in exons 19 to 21 of EGFR and in exons 19 and 20 of the EGFR homolog HER2 in 54 cases of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas (ESCC) from patients recruited in Kashmir, India, a region of high incidence for this cancer. We report the detection of 3 mutations (6%) in the ATP-binding regulatory loops of the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR (deletion 746–750, P753L, G719D). No mutation was found in HER2. This is the first report of activating EGFR mutations in ESCC, of the same type as those detected in lung adenocarcinoma of never-smokers. This suggests that a small proportion of ESCC patients in this high incidence area may benefit from treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
EGFR; Mutations; Esophageal Cancer; Kashmir
We previously showed that 90% (47 of 52; 95% CI, 0.79 to 0.96) of lung adenocarcinomas from East Asian never-smokers harbored well-known oncogenic mutations in just four genes: EGFR, HER2, ALK, and KRAS. Here, we sought to extend these findings to more samples and identify driver alterations in tumors negative for these mutations.
We have collected and analyzed 202 resected lung adenocarcinomas from never smokers seen at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. Since mutations were mutually exclusive in the first 52 examined, we determined the status of EGFR, KRAS, HER2, ALK, and BRAF in stepwise fashion as previously described. Samples negative for mutations in these 5 genes were subsequently examined for known ROS1 fusions by RT-PCR and direct sequencing.
152 tumors (75.3%) harbored EGFR mutations, 12 (6%) had HER2 mutations, 10 (5%) had ALK fusions all involving EML4 as the 5′ partner, 4 (2%) had KRAS mutations, and 2 (1%) harbored ROS1 fusions. No BRAF mutation were detected.
The vast majority (176 of 202; 87.1%, 95% CI: 0.82 to 0.91) of lung adenocarcinomas from never smokers harbor mutant kinases sensitive to available TKIs. Interestingly, patients with EGFR mutant patients tend to be older than those without EGFR mutations (58.3 Vs 54.3, P = 0.016) and patient without any known oncogenic driver tend to be diagnosed at a younger age (52.3 Vs 57.9, P = 0.013). Collectively, these data indicate that the majority of never smokers with lung adenocarcinoma could benefit from treatment with a specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
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.
African Americans have higher incidence and poorer response to lung cancer treatment compared with Caucasians. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms for the significant ethnic difference are not known. The present study examines the ethnic differences in the type and frequency of MET proto-oncogene (MET) mutation in lung cancer and correlated them with other frequently mutated genes such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), KRAS2, and TP53.
Using tumor tissue genomic DNA from 141 Asian, 76 Caucasian, and 66 African American lung cancer patients, exons coding for MET and EGFR were PCR amplified, and mutations were detected by sequencing. Mutation carriers were further screened for KRAS2 and TP53 mutations. Functional implications of important MET mutations were explored by molecular modeling and hepatocyte growth factor binding studies.
Unlike the frequently encountered somatic mutations in EGFR, MET mutations in lung tumors were germline. MET-N375S, the most frequent mutation of MET, occurred in 13% of East Asians compared with none in African Americans. The frequency of MET mutations was highest among male smokers and squamous cell carcinoma. The MET-N375S mutation seems to confer resistance to MET inhibition based on hepatocyte growth factor ligand binding, molecular modeling, and apoptotic susceptibility to MET inhibitor studies.
MET in lung cancer tissues contained nonsynonymous mutations in the semaphorin and juxtamembrane domains but not in the tyrosine kinase domain. All the MET mutations were germline. East Asians, African-Americans, and Caucasians had different MET genotypes and haplotypes. MET mutations in the semaphorin domain affected ligand binding.
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
EGFR genotyping is now standard in the management of advanced lung adenocarcinoma, as this biomarker predicts marked benefit from treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). EGFR exon 19 insertions are a poorly described family of EGFR mutations, and their association with EGFR TKI-sensitivity in lung adenocarcinoma is uncertain.
Patients with lung cancers harboring EGFR exon 19 insertions were studied. The predicted effects of the insertions on the structure of the EGFR protein were examined, and EGFR exon 19 insertions were introduced into Ba/F3 cells to assess oncogenicity and in vitro sensitivity to EGFR TKIs. In patients receiving TKI, response magnitude was assessed with serial computed tomography (CT) measurement.
Twelve tumors harboring EGFR exon 19 insertions were identified; patients were predominately female (92%) and never-smokers (75%). The 11 specimens available for full sequencing all demonstrated an 18 bp insertion that resulted in the substitution of a Pro for Leu at residue 747. The mutant EGFR transformed the Ba/F3 cells, which were then sensitive to EGFR TKI. Six patients with measurable disease received TKI and 5 had a response on serial CT.
EGFR exon 19 insertions are a newly appreciated family of EGFR TKI-sensitizing mutations, and patients with tumors harboring these mutations should be treated with EGFR-TKI. While these mutations may be missed through the use of some mutation-specific assays, the addition of PCR product size analysis to multi-gene assays allows sensitive detection of both exon 19 insertion and deletion mutations.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations were reported in primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. However, very little information is available on the mtDNA mutation pattern in the histologically negative surgical margins and tumors of HNSCC patients who experienced tumor recurrence. The present study aimed at understanding the nature and timing of mtDNA mutation in histologically negative margins, and tumors in HNSCC patients who developed local recurrence during the follow ups. The entire 16.5-kb mitochondrial genome was sequenced in matched normal lymphocytes, histologically normal margins, and tumors of 50 recurrent HNSCC patients. The mtDNA mutations were then compared with clinical parameters. Forty-eight percent (24 of 50) patients harbored at least one somatic mtDNA mutation in the tumor, and a total of 37 somatic mtDNA mutations were detected. The mtDNA mutations were mostly heteroplasmic in nature and nucleotide transitions (A↔G; T↔C). Forty-six percent of the mutations (17 of 37) were detected in the tumors and were also detectable in the corresponding histologically normal margin of the patients. The mtDNA mutations involved both coding and noncoding regions of the mtDNA. Majority (9 of 17, 53%) of the noncoding mutations involved tRNAs. Seventy-five percent (15 of 20) of the coding mtDNA mutations were nonsynonymous in nature and mainly affected cytochrome c oxidase (Complex IV), frequently altered in different human mitochondrial diseases including cancer. Analysis of mtDNA mutation could be an invaluable tool for molecular assessment of histologically negative margins and as well for monitoring HNSCC patients with locoregional recurrences.
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.
Recent evidence suggests that the observed clinical distinctions between lung tumors in smokers and never smokers (NS) extend beyond specific gene mutations, such as EGFR, EML4-ALK, and KRAS, some of which have been translated into targeted therapies. However, the molecular alterations identified thus far cannot explain all of the clinical and biological disparities observed in lung tumors of NS and smokers. To this end, we performed an unbiased genome-wide, comparative study to identify novel genomic aberrations that differ between smokers and NS.
High resolution whole genome DNA copy number profiling of 69 lung adenocarcinomas from smokers (n = 39) and NS (n = 30) revealed both global and regional disparities in the tumor genomes of these two groups. We found that NS lung tumors had a greater proportion of their genomes altered than those of smokers. Moreover, copy number gains on chromosomes 5q, 7p, and 16p occurred more frequently in NS. We validated our findings in two independently generated public datasets. Our findings provide a novel line of evidence distinguishing genetic differences between smoker and NS lung tumors, namely, that the extent of segmental genomic alterations is greater in NS tumors. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that these lung tumors are globally and genetically different, which implies they are likely driven by distinct molecular mechanisms.
Germline polymorphisms may confer susceptibility to lung cancer in never smokers, but studies in the US have been limited by the low number of cases seen at single institutions. We hypothesized that we could use the Internet to bolster accrual of appropriate patients.
We established an Internet-based protocol to collect blood and information from patients throughout the U.S. To illustrate the power of this approach, we used these samples, plus additional cases and age-matched controls from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY) and the Aichi Cancer Center (Nagoya, Japan), to analyze germline DNA for genetic variants reportedly associated with lung cancer susceptibility. The genotypes for the polymorphisms rs763317 (intron 1) and T790M (exon 20) in the EGFR gene were determined by direct sequencing, and CHRNA3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor SNPs (rs8034191 and rs1051730) were genotyped as part of a pilot genome-wide association study.
We successfully analyzed germline DNA from 369 cases, including 45 obtained via the Internet, and 342 controls. A germline EGFR T790M variant was identified in 2 (0.54%, 95% CI: 0.21%–1.29%) of the 369 cases, and in none of the 292 controls (p=0.208). No difference was observed in EGFR rs763317 frequency between cases and controls. Similarly, neither CHRNA3 rs8034191 nor rs1051730 was associated with lung cancer risk.
The Internet provides a way to recruit patients throughout the country for minimal risk studies. This approach could be used to facilitate studies of germline polymorphisms in specific groups of patients with cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer; EGFR; never smoker; genetic susceptibility; Internet
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage and mutation due to the high rate of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and limited DNA-repair capacity in mitochondrial. Previous studies demonstrated that the increased mtDNA copy number for compensation for damage, which was associated with cigarette smoking, has been found to be associated with lung cancer risk among heavy smokers. Given that the common and “non-pathological” mtDNA variations determine differences in oxidative phosphorylation performance and ROS production, an important determinant of lung cancer risk, we hypothesize that the mtDNA variations may play roles in lung cancer risk. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a case-control study to compare the frequencies of mtDNA haplogroups and an 822 bp mtDNA deletion between 422 lung cancer patients and 504 controls. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that haplogroups D and F were related to individual lung cancer resistance (OR = 0.465, 95%CI = 0.329–0.656, p<0.001; and OR = 0.622, 95%CI = 0.425–0.909, p = 0.014, respectively), while haplogroups G and M7 might be risk factors for lung cancer (OR = 3.924, 95%CI = 1.757–6.689, p<0.001; and OR = 2.037, 95%CI = 1.253–3.312, p = 0.004, respectively). Additionally, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that cigarette smoking was a risk factor for the 822 bp mtDNA deletion. Furthermore, the increased frequencies of the mtDNA deletion in male cigarette smoking subjects of combined cases and controls with haplogroup D indicated that the haplogroup D might be susceptible to DNA damage from external ROS caused by heavy cigarette smoking.
Epidemiological studies indicate that some characteristics of lung cancer among never-smokers significantly differ from those of smokers. Aberrant promoter methylation and mutations in some oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are frequent in lung tumors from smokers but rare in those from never-smokers. In this study, we analyzed promoter methylation in the ras-association domain isoform A (RASSF1A) and the death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) genes in lung tumors from patients with primarily non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from the Western Pennsylvania region. We compare the results with the smoking status of the patients and the mutation status of the K-ras, p53, and EGFR genes determined previously on these same lung tumors.
Promoter methylation of the RASSF1A and DAPK genes was analyzed by using a modified two-stage methylation-specific PCR. Data on mutations of K-ras, p53, and EGFR were obtained from our previous studies.
The RASSF1A gene promoter methylation was found in tumors from 46.7% (57/122) of the patients and was not significantly different between smokers and never-smokers, but was associated significantly in multiple variable analysis with tumor histology (p = 0.031) and marginally with tumor stage (p = 0.063). The DAPK gene promoter methylation frequency in these tumors was 32.8% (40/122) and did not differ according to the patients' smoking status, tumor histology, or tumor stage. Multivariate analysis adjusted for age, gender, smoking status, tumor histology and stage showed that the frequency of promoter methylation of the RASSF1A or DAPK genes did not correlate with the frequency of mutations of the K-ras, p53, and EGFR gene.
Our results showed that RASSF1A and DAPK genes' promoter methylation occurred frequently in lung tumors, although the prevalence of this alteration in these genes was not associated with the smoking status of the patients or the occurrence of mutations in the K-ras, p53 and EGFR genes, suggesting each of these events may represent independent event in non-small lung tumorigenesis.
Lung cancer patients with mutations in EGFR tyrosine kinase have improved prognosis when treated with EGFR inhibitors. We hypothesized that EGFR mutations may be related to residential radon or passive tobacco smoke.
This hypothesis was investigated by analyzing EGFR mutations in seventy lung tumors from a population of never and long-term former female smokers from Missouri with detailed exposure assessments. The relationship with passive-smoking was also examined in never-smoking female lung cancer cases from the Mayo clinic.
Overall, the frequency of EGFR mutation was 41% [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 32-49%]. Neither radon nor passive-smoking exposure was consistently associated with EGFR mutations in lung tumors.
The results suggest that EGFR mutations are common in female, never-smoking, lung cancer cases from the U.S, and EGFR mutations are unlikely due to exposure to radon or passive-smoking.
EGFR mutations; never-smokers; lung cancer; radon; passive-smoking; second hand smoke; tobacco smoke
To identify molecular defects in a girl with clinical features of MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy and lactic acidosis) and MERRF (ragged‐red fibres) syndromes.
The enzyme complex activities of the mitochondrial respiratory chain were assayed. Temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis was used to scan the entire mitochondrial genome for unknown mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) alterations, which were then identified by direct DNA sequencing.
A novel heteroplasmic mtDNA mutation, G12207A, in the tRNASer(AGY) gene was identified in the patient who had a history of developmental delay, feeding difficulty, lesions within her basal ganglia, cerebral atrophy, proximal muscle weakness, increased blood lactate, liver dysfunction, and fatty infiltration of her muscle. Muscle biopsy revealed ragged red fibres and pleomorphic mitochondria. Study of skeletal muscle mitochondria revealed complex I deficiency associated with mitochondrial proliferation. Real time quantitative PCR analysis showed elevated mtDNA content, 2.5 times higher than normal. The tRNASer(AGY) mutation was found in heteroplasmic state (92%) in the patient's skeletal muscle. It was not present in her unaffected mother's blood or in 200 healthy controls. This mutation occurs at the first nucleotide of the 5′ end of tRNA, which is involved in the formation of the stem region of the amino acid acceptor arm. Mutation at this position may affect processing of the precursor RNA, the stability and amino acid charging efficiency of the tRNA, and overall efficiency of protein translation.
This case underscores the importance of comprehensive mutational analysis of the entire mitochondrial genome when a mtDNA defect is strongly suggested.
12207G>A; mitochondrial myopathy; mtDNA mutation; tRNASer(AGY)
Several investigators have employed high throughput mitochondrial sequencing array (MitoChip) in clinical studies to search mtDNA for markers linked to cancers. In consequence, a host of somatic mtDNA mutations have been identified as linked to different types of cancers. However, closer examination of these data show that there are a number of potential pitfalls in the detection tumor-specific somatic mutations in clinical case studies, thus urging caution in the interpretation of mtDNA data to the patients. This study examined mitochondrial sequence variants demonstrated in cancer patients, and assessed the reliability of using detected patterns of polymorphisms in the early diagnosis of cancer.
Published entire mitochondrial genomes from head and neck, adenoid cystic carcinoma, sessile serrated adenoma, and lung primary tumor from clinical patients were examined in a phylogenetic context and compared with known, naturally occurring mutations which characterize different populations.
The phylogenetic linkage analysis of whole arrays of mtDNA mutations from patient cancerous and non-cancerous tissue confirmed that artificial recombination events occurred in studies of head and neck, adenoid cystic carcinoma, sessile serrated adenoma, and lung primary tumor. Our phylogenetic analysis of these tumor and control leukocyte mtDNA haplotype sequences shows clear cut evidence of mixed ancestries found in single individuals.
Our study makes two prescriptions: both in the clinical situation and in research 1. more care should be taken in maintaining sample identity and 2. analysis should always be undertaken with respect to all the data available and within an evolutionary framework to eliminate artifacts and mix-ups.