The state of the art of EGFR exon 20 insertions in non-small cell lung cancer: Diagnosis and future perspectives

Cancer Treat Rev. 2024 Mar:124:102671. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2023.102671. Epub 2023 Dec 20.


Insertions in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 (Ex20Ins) are the third most incident mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The hypervariable nature of these driver mutations hinders their identification by traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods, requiring a comprehensive sequencing approach to detect all possible insertions. The prognosis of patients with EGFR Ex20Ins is similar to those with wild-type NSCLC, since no targeted drugs are approved in the first-line setting, and platinum-based chemotherapy is currently the front-line treatment. However, the new generation of drugs currently being tested in first and post-platinum settings will likely change the management of this entity. Here, we summarize the latest data on EGFR Ex20Ins molecular characteristics, patient profile, identification challenges, and emerging therapies to help lung clinicians face a growing treatment landscape.

Keywords: EGFR; Exon 20 Insertions; NGS; NSCLC; Targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

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


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