The results published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology found that the response rate to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy was significantly higher in classic vs rare EGFR mutations.
Certain rare epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are associated with tobacco smoking, worse prognosis and poor response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy compared to the more common "classical" EGFR mutations. However, as not all rare mutations are the same, testing and therapy may need to be evaluated for each individual mutation.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world with nearly 1.4 million deaths each year. Mutations within the EGFR gene lead to an oncogenic EGFR protein which can be turned off with EGFR TKIs. These alterations with EGFR are the most frequently therapeutically-targeted genomic alterations in NSCLC. Deletions within Exon 19 or a point mutation in Exon 21 are the common mutations predictive of response to EGFR TKI therapy and the ones most often and sometimes exclusively tested for. However, less common EGFR mutations exist and some, for example G719x and L861Q, appear sensitive to TKI therapy.
Link to the press release on EurekAlert!: http://bit.ly/1KMuf25