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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Different mutational characteristics of the subsets of EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor sensitizing mutation-positive lung adenocarcinoma

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Eun Young Kim, Arum Kim, Gaeun Lee, Hangsuck Lee, Yoon Soo Chang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-5116-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



A subset of lung adenocarcinoma with EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor sensitizing mutations (mEGFR) is common in non-smokers and women, suggesting that mutational stressors other than smoking are involved.


Targeted sequencing using a custom panel containing 70 cancer-related genes were performed from 73 cases of lung adenocarcinoma with mEGFR (study cohort). In parallel, publicly available data of 47 TCGA-LUAD cases with mEGFR (LUAD cohort) were extracted from the GDC data portal and analyzed by non-negative matrix factorization using the Maftools package.


In the study cohort, the C > A transversions accounted for 12.9% of all single nucleotide variations (SNVs), comprising the second smallest proportion among SNVs. The E19del-subgroup had a significantly lower mutational burden with significantly higher Ti/Tv ratio than the SNV-subgroup, which includes cases with L858R and other EGFR-TKI sensitizing SNVs. (P = 0.0326 and 0.0002, respectively, Mann-Whitney U test). In the LUAD cohort, the mutational burden was substantially lower than in other TCGA cancer cohorts, and the frequency of C > A transversions was 30.3%, occupying the second frequency. The E19del-subgroup had a lower mutational burden overall and a higher Ti/Tv ratio than the SNV-subgroup (P = 0.0497 and P = 0.0055, respectively, Mann-Whitney U test). Smoking-related signature 4 was observed only in the L858R-subgroup, while ignature 30 and 5 was observed in both groups.


Lung adenocarcinoma with mEGFR(+) has a lower mutational burden and does not show a characteristic mutation pattern influenced by smoking. E19del and L858R, which are representative subtypes of mEGFR(+) lung adenocarcinoma, differ in terms of mutational spectrum, as the E19del-subgroup has a lower mutation burden and a higher Ti/Tv ratio than the SNV-subgroup. These findings could help explain the differences in the responses to EGFR-TKIs and in the clinical courses between the two lung adenocarcinoma subgroups.
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