Among the driver gene mutations in non–small-cell lung cancer, mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are the most important because of their predictive role in selecting patients eligible for targeted therapy. Our aim was to study EGFR mutations in a Finnish non–small-cell lung cancer cohort of 528 patients.
Mutation testing was conducted on DNA extracted from paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed tumor material using the following real-time polymerase chain reaction-based kits: Therascreen EGFR PCR Kit and cobas EGFR Mutation Test.
EGFR mutation frequency was 11.4% and all positive cases were adenocarcinomas, of which a majority had an acinar predominant pattern. Mutations were seen significantly more often in females and never-smokers than in males and smokers. The most frequent mutations were L858R in exon 21 and deletions in exon 19. Overall survival of the patients, not treated with EGFR inhibitor, did not differ between EGFR mutation-positive and EGFR mutation-negative patients.
EGFR mutation profile in this Finnish non–small-cell lung cancer cohort resembles in many respect with that of other Western European cohorts, even though the overall frequency of mutations is slightly higher. We show the occurrence of EGFR mutations in patients with occupational asbestos exposure and also in those diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who have not been often investigated before.