Mutational status predicts the risk of thromboembolic events in lung adenocarcinoma

Multidiscip Respir Med. 2017 May 29:12:16. doi: 10.1186/s40248-017-0097-0. eCollection 2017.


Background: Precision medicine promises to improve prognosis of patients affected by untreatable diseases. Patients with lung cancer (especially lung adenocarcinoma) bear an increased risk of VTE. Mutations in the EGFR and rearrangement in the ALK genes identify specific subgroups of patients. Aim of this study was to investigate the role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutational status on the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in lung adenocarcinoma.

Methods: A retrospective longitudinal design was used. Patients with lung adenocarcinoma diagnosed and undergoing a mutational analysis at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden between January 2009 and September 2015 were divided in three subgroups based on their mutational status (EGFR-, ALK-mutated, unexposed group). Event-free time for VTE was assessed using Cox regression analysis based on mutation status and treatment received.

Results: Three hundred-ten patients were included. A VTE occurred in 70 (22.6%) patients. Mutation of EGFR was associated with a decreased risk of VTE (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.23-0.94). Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) reduced the risk of VTE compared to other treatment strategies not including TKI (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.29-0.79).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that patients with lung adenocarcinoma bearing a EGFR-mutation have a decreased risk of VTE compared with patients with other forms of lung adenocarcinoma. Targeted therapy with TKI alone or in combination with other treatments seems to reduce the risk of VTE compared to other treatments not including TKI.

Keywords: Mutation; Non-small cell lung cancer; Precision medicine; Thromboembolism; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors.