Background: Recently, driver tyrosine kinase gene mutations have been detected in malignant tumors, including lung tumors. Notwithstanding their attractiveness as targets for molecular therapy, limited information is available regarding BRAF-mutated lung carcinomas.
Materials and methods: BRAF mutation status was determined in 2001 surgically resected nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases using high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA) followed by Sanger sequencing and/or deep sequencing using next generation sequencer.
Results: BRAF mutations were detected in 26 (1.3%) of 2001 NSCLC cases (25 adenocarcinomas and 1 squamous cell carcinoma). In the 26 cases, 13 mutation genotypes were identified, including V600E (8 of 26; 30.8%), G469A (6 of 26; 23.1%), K601E (4 of 26; 15.4%), and other residual mutations (1 of 26; 0.04%). Of the 13 genotypes, 4 genotypes (G464E, G596R, A598T, and G606R) had not been previously reported in lung cancer. The overall survival rate was not significantly different between patients with wild-type BRAF and those with V600E or non-V600E BRAF mutations (P = 0.49 and P = 0.15, respectively). Histomorphological analysis revealed that focal clear cell changes were present in 75% of V600E-mutated tumors. All V600E BRAF-mutated tumors were negative for other driver gene alterations including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS mutations and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene translocation, whereas five tumors with non-V600E BRAF mutations (four G469A and one G464E/G466R) showed concomitant EGFR mutations.
Conclusion: The frequency of BRAF mutations in lung cancer was low in an Asian cohort. Furthermore, BRAF mutation status lacked prognostic significance in this patient population.
Keywords: Asian; BRAF gene mutation; lung carcinoma.