Impact of epidermal growth factor receptor and KRAS mutations on clinical outcomes in previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer patients: results of an online tumor registry of clinical trials

Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 15;15(16):5267-73. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-0888. Epub 2009 Aug 11.


Purpose: The impact of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS genotypes on outcomes with erlotinib or gefitinib therapy continues to be debated. This study combines patient data from five trials in predominantly Western populations to assess the impact of EGFR and KRAS mutations on first-line therapy with an EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and compare clinical versus molecular predictors of sensitivity.

Experimental design: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and known EGFR mutation status treated with erlotinib or gefitinib monotherapy as part of a clinical trial were eligible for inclusion. Patients received daily erlotinib (150 mg) or gefitinib (250 mg) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Data were collected in a password-protected web database. Clinical outcomes were analyzed to look for differences based on EGFR and KRAS genotypes, as well as clinical characteristics.

Results: Patients (223) from five clinical trials were included. Sensitizing EGFR mutations were associated with a 67% response rate, time to progression (TTP) of 11.8 months, and overall survival of 23.9 months. Exon 19 deletions were associated with longer median TTP and overall survival compared with L858R mutations. Wild-type EGFR was associated with poorer outcomes (response rate, 3%; TTP, 3.2 months) irrespective of KRAS status. No difference in outcome was seen between patients harboring KRAS transition versus transversion mutations. EGFR genotype was more effective than clinical characteristics at selecting appropriate patients for consideration of first-line therapy with an EGFR-TKI.

Conclusion: EGFR mutation status is associated with sensitivity to treatment with an EGFR-TKI in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Patients harboring sensitizing EGFR mutations should be considered for first-line erlotinib or gefitinib.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / classification
  • Databases, Factual
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / physiology
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Online Systems
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use
  • Registries*
  • ras Proteins / genetics*
  • ras Proteins / physiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Quinazolines
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins
  • Gefitinib