Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Analyzed for EGFR: Adherence to Guidelines, Prevalence and Outcome

Anticancer Res. 2015 Jul;35(7):3979-85.


Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) analysis is the first molecular test introduced in the routine care of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we describe the prevalence of EGFR mutations and the adherence to testing and treatment guidelines in a population-based Swedish NSCLC cohort.

Materials and methods: Patients with NSCLC analyzed for EGFR mutations were identified and their characteristics and survival data were retrieved. We compared the study cohort to a matched lung cancer population.

Results: The EGFR mutation frequency was 10%. Mutations were enriched in women and in adenocarcinoma cases. Out of patients with advanced-stage NSCLC with non-squamous histology, only 49% were referred for EGFR analysis. Out of the patients with EGFR mutation and advanced disease, only 38% received EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) in first-line therapy.

Conclusion: The EGFR-mutated NSCLC population studied is similar to other Western populations. Surprisingly, a large proportion of patients were not referred for EGFR analysis. Out of the patients with EGFR mutation, fewer than 40% received EGFR-TKI as first-line treatment. Our results highlight the need for follow-up of treatment and diagnostic algorithms in routine healthcare.

Keywords: EGFR; Non-small cell lung cancer; mutation; outcome; population; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / drug effects
  • Prevalence
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors