EGF receptor gene mutations are common in lung cancers from "never smokers" and are associated with sensitivity of tumors to gefitinib and erlotinib

William Pao, Vincent Miller, Maureen Zakowski, Jennifer Doherty, Katerina Politi, Inderpal Sarkaria, Bhuvanesh Singh, Robert Heelan, Valerie Rusch, Lucinda Fulton, Elaine Mardis, Doris Kupfer, Richard Wilson, Mark Kris, Harold Varmus

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Abstract

Somatic mutations in the tyrosine kinase (TK) domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are reportedly associated with sensitivity of lung cancers to gefitinib (Iressa), kinase inhibitor. In-frame deletions occur in exon 19, whereas point mutations occur frequently in codon 858 (exon 21). We found from sequencing the EGFR TK domain that 7 of 10 gefitinib-sensitive tumors had similar types of alterations; no mutations were found in eight gefitinib-refractory tumors (P = 0.004). Five of seven tumors sensitive to erlotinib (Tarceva), a related kinase inhibitor for which the clinically relevant target is undocumented, had analogous somatic mutations, as opposed to none of 10 erlotinib-refractory tumors (P = 0.003). Because most mutation-positive tumors were adenocarcinomas from patients who smoked <100 cigarettes in a lifetime ("never smokers"), we screened EGFR exons 2-28 in 15 adenocarcinomas resected from untreated never smokers. Seven tumors had TK domain mutations, in contrast to 4 of 81 non-small cell lung cancers resected from untreated former or current smokers (P = 0.0001). Immunoblotting of lysates from cells transiently transfected with various EGFR constructs demonstrated that compared to wild-type protein, an exon 19 deletion mutant induced diminished levels of phosphotyrosine, whereas the phosphorylation at tyrosine 1092 of an exon 21 point mutant was inhibited at 10-fold lower concentrations of drug. Collectively, these data show that adenocarcinomas from never smokers comprise a distinct subset of lung cancers, frequently containing mutations within the TK domain of EGFR that are associated with gefitinib and erlotinib sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13306-13311
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2004

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    Pao, W., Miller, V., Zakowski, M., Doherty, J., Politi, K., Sarkaria, I., Singh, B., Heelan, R., Rusch, V., Fulton, L., Mardis, E., Kupfer, D., Wilson, R., Kris, M., & Varmus, H. (2004). EGF receptor gene mutations are common in lung cancers from "never smokers" and are associated with sensitivity of tumors to gefitinib and erlotinib. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(36), 13306-13311. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0405220101