Analysis of the frequency of oncogenic driver mutations and correlation with clinicopathological characteristics in patients with lung adenocarcinoma from Northeastern Switzerland

Alexandra Grosse, Claudia Grosse, Markus Rechsteiner, Alex Soltermann
Diagnostic Pathology 2019 February 11, 14 (1): 18

BACKGROUND: Molecular testing of lung adenocarcinoma for oncogenic driver mutations has become standard in pathology practice. The aim of the study was to analyze the EGFR, KRAS, ALK, RET, ROS1, BRAF, ERBB2, MET and PIK3CA mutational status in a representative cohort of Swiss patients with lung adenocarcinoma and to correlate the mutational status with clinicopathological patient characteristics.

METHODS: All patients who underwent molecular testing of newly diagnosed lung adenocarcinoma during a 4-year period (2014-2018) were included. Molecular analyses were performed with Sanger sequencing (n = 158) and next generation sequencing (n = 311). ALK, ROS1 and RET fusion gene analyses were also performed with fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry/immunocytochemistry. Demographic and clinical data were obtained from the medical records.

RESULTS: Of 469 patients with informative EGFR mutation analyses, 90 (19.2%) had EGFR mutations. KRAS mutations were present in 33.9% of the patients, while 6.0% of patients showed ALK rearrangement. BRAF, ERBB2, MET and PIK3CA mutations and ROS1 and RET rearrangements were found in 2.6%, 1.9%, 1.9%, 1.5%, 1.7% and 0.8% of the patients, respectively. EGFR mutation was significantly associated with female gender and never smoking status. ALK translocations were more frequent in never smokers, while KRAS mutations were more commonly found in ever smokers. The association between KRAS mutational status and female gender was statistically significant only on multivariate analysis after adjusting for smoking.

CONCLUSION: The EGFR mutation rate in the current study is among the higher previously reported mutation rates, while the frequencies of KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2 and PIK3CA mutations and ALK, ROS1 and RET rearrangements are similar to the results of previous reports. EGFR and KRAS mutations were significantly associated with gender and smoking. ALK rearrangements showed a significant association with smoking status alone.

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