Uncommon single and compound EGFR mutations: clinical outcomes of a heterogeneous subgroup of NSCLC

Curr Probl Cancer. 2022 Feb;46(1):100787. doi: 10.1016/j.currproblcancer.2021.100787. Epub 2021 Aug 19.


Molecular characterization of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is essential to define the correct therapeutic algorithm in metastatic disease. Approximately 90% of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are usually associated with sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). The remaining 10% defines a small, extremely heterogeneous subgroup of mutations, with a varied profile of sensitivity and response to target therapies.This retrospective observational study includes 47 patients affected by metastatic NSCLC harboring uncommon EGFR mutations (single or compound mutation). Patients were treated with EGFR-targeting TKIs or platinum-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment.Median OS resulted longer in the compound mutation group when compared to single rare mutations (33.6 vs 12 months; P = 0.473); a similar result was observed for PFS (16 vs 7.6 months; P = 0.281), although statistical significance was not reached. ORR, PFS and OS resulted similar for patients treated with first-line EGFR TKIs or chemotherapy. No difference in terms of PFS and OS was found according to the TKI administered.Compound mutations seem to be a good prognostic indicator for OS; they are also predictive of response to 1st and 2nd generation EGFR TKIs, as well as exon 19 insertions and mutations in codon 719 of exon 18. For mutations in exon 18 (not in codon 719) and exon 20 insertions, chemotherapy seems the most effective available option. The addition of immunotherapy to chemotherapy could change this approach in the next future.

Keywords: Afatinib; Compound mutations; Gefitinib; Osimertinib; TKIs; Uncommon mutations.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use


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