Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are commonly observed in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly in tumors of adenocarcinoma (ADC) histology (NSCLC/ADC). Robust data exist regarding the prevalence of EGFR mutations in Western and Asian patients with NSCLC/ADC, yet there is a lack of data for patients of other ethnicities. This review collated available data with the aim of creating a complete, global picture of EGFR mutation frequency in patients with NSCLC/ADC by ethnicity. Worldwide literature reporting EGFR mutation frequency in patients with NSCLC/ADC was reviewed, to create a map of the world populated with EGFR mutation frequency by country (a 'global EGFR mutMap'). A total of 151 worldwide studies (n=33162 patients with NSCLC/ADC, of which 9749 patients had EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC/ADC) were included. There was substantial variation in EGFR mutation frequency between studies, even when grouped by geographic region or individual country. As expected, the Asia-Pacific NSCLC/ADC subgroup had the highest EGFR mutation frequency (47% [5958/12819; 87 studies; range 20%-76%]) and the lowest EGFR mutation frequency occurred in the Oceania NSCLC/ADC subgroup (12% [69/570; 4 studies; range 7%-36%]); however, comparisons between regions were limited due to the varying sizes of the patient populations studied. In all regional (geographic) subgroups where data were available, EGFR mutation frequency in NSCLC/ADC was higher in women compared with men, and in never-compared with ever-smokers. This review provides the foundation for a global map of EGFR mutation frequency in patients with NSCLC/ADC. The substantial lack of data from several large geographic regions of the world, notably Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Central and South America, highlights a potential lack of routine mutation testing and the need for further investigations in these regions.
Keywords: Adenocarcinoma; EGFR mutation frequency; non-small-cell lung cancer.