The Frequency of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation of Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer according to the Underlying Pulmonary Diseases

Pulm Med. 2011;2011:290132. doi: 10.1155/2011/290132. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Background. Although epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are effective in patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, EGFR-TKIs have a risk of inducing fatal interstitial lung disease (ILD). The selection of chemotherapy based on the EGFR mutation status is recommended, however, the frequency of EGFR mutation in patients with ILD and the efficacy and safety of EGFR-TKI in patients with ILD and EGFR mutation are unknown. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed the association of the EGFR mutation status of nonsmall cell lung cancer and pulmonary diseases. Based on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) performed at diagnosis of lung cancer, patients were categorized into three groups: normal, emphysema, and fibrosis. Results. Of 198 patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer, we identified 52 (26.3%) patients with an EGFR mutation. EGFR mutations were identified in 43 (35.2%) of 122 patients with normal lungs, 8 (13.6%) of 59 with emphysema, and 1 (5.9%) of 17 with pulmonary fibrosis. Of the 52 patients with EGFR mutation, 43 patients received gefitinib. One patient with an EGFR mutation and fibrosis developed fatal ILD. There was not a significant difference in median overall survival from gefitinib treatment between never-smokers and smokers (797 days versus not reached; P = 0.96). Conclusions. Patients with sensitive EGFR mutation and normal lungs may benefit from an EGFR-TKI treatment even if they have smoking history.