Although adenocarcinomas of the lung are associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations and sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, it remains unclear whether bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) components and/or subtypes affect these associations. We aimed to clarify correlations between EGFR gene mutations and BAC components and to establish the histologic features as reliable predictors for the mutations. We examined 141 non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), including 118 adenocarcinomas, for mutations in exons 19 and 21 of the EGFR gene together with mutations in codon 12 of the K-ras gene using loop-hybrid mobility shift assays, a highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction–based method. Adenocarcinomas were subdivided into subtypes with a nonmucinous or mucinous BAC component and those without BAC components.
In NSCLCs, EGFR mutations were detected in 75 cases (53.2%) and were significantly associated with adenocarcinoma, female sex, and never smoking. Among adenocarcinomas, nonmucinous and mucinous BAC components were significantly associated with EGFR and K-ras gene mutations, respectively. Because EGFR mutations were detected even in most pure nonmucinous BACs, ie, lung adenocarcinoma in situ, EGFR mutation is considered a critical event in the pathogenesis of nonmucinous BAC tumors.
- polymerase chain reaction
- bronchioloalveolar carcinoma
- non-small-cell lung carcinoma
- codon nucleotides
- electrophoretic mobility shift assay
- genes, ras
- receptor, epidermal growth factor
- adenocarcinoma of lung
- epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor