Utilization of cell-transferred cytologic smears in detection of EGFR and KRAS mutation on adenocarcinoma of lung

Mod Pathol. 2014 Jul;27(7):930-5. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2013.220. Epub 2013 Dec 13.


Cell-transfer technique has been proven useful for performing immunocytochemistry on fine-needle aspiration smears. However, its utility for EGFR and KRAS molecular testing has not been validated. Molecular testing was performed using the cell-transfer technique on both Papanicolaou-stained ethanol-fixed and Hema 3-stained air-dried smears from 32 fine-needle aspiration samples that had diagnoses of adenocarcinoma of the lung, and then was compared to the results of the corresponding formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. The molecular testing was successfully performed on 32 of 32 ethanol-fixed and 31 of 32 air-dried samples. The molecular results on ethanol-fixed and air-dried smears showed 100% agreement. There is 100% (32/32) agreement for the EGFR and 97% (31/32) agreement for the KRAS between the cell-transfer technique and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. One discrepant case was due to low percentage of tumor cells on the smears. Cell-transfer technique is a reliable alternative method for EGFR and KRAS testing if the cell blocks lack adequate cellularity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins / genetics*


  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins