Advances in Lung Cancer Driver Genes Associated With Brain Metastasis

Front Oncol. 2021 Jan 18;10:606300. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.606300. eCollection 2020.


Brain metastasis, one of the common complications of lung cancer, is an important cause of death in patients with advanced cancer, despite progress in treatment strategies. Lung cancers with positive driver genes have higher incidence and risk of brain metastases, suggesting that driver events associated with these genes might be biomarkers to detect and prevent disease progression. Common lung cancer driver genes mainly encode receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), which are important internal signal molecules that interact with external signals. RTKs and their downstream signal pathways are crucial for tumor cell survival, invasion, and colonization in the brain. In addition, new tumor driver genes, which also encode important molecules closely related to the RTK signaling pathway, have been found to be closely related to the brain metastases of lung cancer. In this article, we reviewed the relationship between lung cancer driver genes and brain metastasis, and summarized the mechanism of driver gene-associated pathways in brain metastasis. By understanding the molecular characteristics during brain metastasis, we can better stratify lung cancer patients and alert those at high risk of brain metastasis, which helps to promote individual therapy for lung cancer.

Keywords: brain metastasis; colonization; driver gene; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; lung cancer; receptor tyrosine kinase.

Publication types

  • Review