EGFR, ERBB2, and KRAS mutations in Korean non-small cell lung cancer patients

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2007 Mar;173(2):107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2006.10.007.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and its family members play an important role in the development and progression of lung cancers. It has been reported that somatic mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of the EGFR or ERBB2 genes occur in a subset of patients with lung cancer. We searched for mutations of the EGFR, ERBB2, and KRAS genes in surgically resected non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) to determine the prevalence of these mutations in Korean lung cancer patients. In addition, we examined the relationship between the mutations and clinicopathologic features of lung cancers. Mutations of the EGFR, ERBB2, and KRAS genes were determined by polymerase chain reaction-based direct sequencing in 115 surgically resected non-small cell lung cancers. EGFR mutations were present in 20 patients (17.4%). The EGFR mutations were found only in adenocarcinomas (20 of 55 adenocarcinomas, 36.4%). The ERBB2 mutation was found in 1 adenocarcinoma of the 115 NSCLCs (0.9% overall; 1.8% of the 55 adenocarcinomas). KRAS mutations were found in 6 (5.2%) of the 115 NSCLCs (2 of 60 squamous cell carcinomas, or 3.3%, and 4 of 55 adenocarcinomas, or 7.3%). EGFR mutations in adenocarcinomas were more frequent in women (P = 0.02) and in never-smokers (P = 0.004). EGFR mutations in adenocarcinomas were not associated with pathologic stage in never-smokers, but were more frequent in pathologic stage II-IV than in stage I in ever-smokers (P = 0.01). Of the 55 adenocarcinomas, 25 (45.5%) had mutations of one or another of the three genes; EGFR mutations were never found in adenocarcinomas together with ERBB2 or KRAS mutations. These findings suggest that the EGFR mutation is frequent in Korean lung cancer patients, and that the ERBB2 mutation is rare. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of EGFR mutations in the carcinogenesis of adenocarcinoma among smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Smoking


  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2