Detection and comparison of epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in cells and fluid of malignant pleural effusion in non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2008 May;60(2):175-82. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2007.10.011. Epub 2007 Dec 3.


Cells or cell-free fluid of malignant pleural effusion could be important clinical specimen for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation screening in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. However, their usefulness in mutation detection has not been well compared. In this study we recruited 26 East Asian NSCLC patients with malignant pleural effusion, determined the mutation status of EGFR in both cells and matched cell-free fluid with the use of sequencing and mutant-enriched PCR. After comparing the mutation spectrums, we found both the cells and cell-free pleural fluid may be feasible clinical specimen for EGFR mutation detection in unresectable NSCLC given sensitive genotyping assays employed. Direct sequencing could miss a significant portion of mutations in these heterogeneous specimens. More sensitive methods, such as mutant-enriched PCR and gene scan, could provide more reliable mutational information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / genetics*
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • ErbB Receptors