Introduction: Among the mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), deletions in exon 19 (DEL), and point mutations in exon 21 (L858R) predict the response to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in primary lung adenocarcinoma. The ability to detecting such mutations using immunohistochemistry (IHC) would be advantageous. Methods: The molecular-based and IHC-based EGFR mutations were analyzed in 577 lung adenocarcinomas using high resolution melting analysis (HRMA) and 2 mutation-specific antibodies, respectively. Results: In the molecular-based analyses, DEL was detected in 135 cases (23%), and L858R was detected in 172 cases (30%). In the IHC-based analyses, a positive reaction was detected in 59 cases (10%) for the DEL-specific antibody, and in 139 cases (24%) for the L858R-specific antibody. With the molecular-based results set as the gold standard, the sensitivity and specificity of the DEL-specific antibody were 42.2% and 99.5%, respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity of the L858R-specific antibody were 75.6% and 97.8%, respectively. The antibody specificities improved when the threshold for the mutation-positive reactions was set as >50% of immunopositive tumor cells. The significant predictors of the clinical response to EGFR-TKI were molecular-based EGFR mutations (p< 0.001) and IHC-based EGFR mutations (p = 0.001). However, a multivariate analysis revealed that only molecular-based EGFR mutations were significantly correlated with the clinical response (p< 0.001). Conclusions: Mutation-specific antibodies demonstrated extremely high specificities, but their sensitivities were not higher than those of molecular-based analyses. However, IHC should be performed before a molecular-based analysis, because it is more cost-effective and can effectively select candidates for EGFR-TKI therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research