Objectives: Among non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, ~20-30% exhibit de novo resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). The aim of this study was to examine whether mutations in the EGFR-downstream genes may be associated with de novo resistance to EGFR-TKIs in EGFR mutation-positive patients. Materials and methods: Sixty-eight never-smoker adenocarcinoma patients with an activating EGFR mutation were included in the mutational analysis and 55 patients treated with EGFR-TKIs were analyzed for the treatment outcomes to EGFR-TKIs. We concurrently analyzed mutations in PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT and STK11, which are all EGFR-downstream genes. Mutations in PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT, and STK11 were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-based sequencing. Results: PIK3CA mutations were detected in 4.4% (3/68) of patients, PTEN mutations in 16.1% (11/68), AKT mutations in 5.9% (4/68), and STK11 mutations in 13.2% (9/68). One patient with an activating exon 21 L858R mutation concomitantly had an exon 20 T790M mutation in EGFR. The proportion of patients who had mutations in EGFR-downstream genes was 32.4% (22/68). When we analyzed the treatment outcome of 55 patients treated with EGFR-TKI, the presence of mutations in EGFR-downstream genes correlated with a poor overall response rate to EGFR-TKIs (63.6 vs.14.5% in patients with mutation in EGFR-downstream gene, P< 0.0001), shorter median progression-free survival (12.0 vs. 3.0 months, P= 0.060), and shorter median overall survival (18.9 vs. 25.0 months, P= 0.048). Conclusion: Mutations in the EGFR-downstream genes may confer resistance to EGFR-TKIs and result in poor treatment outcomes in never-smoker adenocarcinoma patients with activating EGFR mutations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of the Health Fellowship Foundation and a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea ( HI13C1948 ).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research