Detection of EGFR gene mutation in lung cancer by mutant-enriched polymerase chain reaction assay

Hiroaki Asano, Shinichi Toyooka, Masaki Tokumo, Kouichi Ichimura, Keisuke Aoe, Sachio Ito, Kazunori Tsukuda, Mamoru Ouchida, Motoi Aoe, Hideki Katayama, Akio Hiraki, Kazuro Sugi, Katsuyuki Kiura, Hiroshi Date, Nobuyoshi Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene have been reported to be present in non - small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and related to the responsiveness of tumors to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, suggesting its usefulness as a biomarker. Because clinical samples contain tumor and normal cells or genes, a highly sensitive assay for detecting mutation is critical for clinical applications. Experimental Design: The mutant-enriched PCR is a rapid and sensitive assay with selective restriction enzyme digestion. We developed the mutant-enriched PCR assay targeting exons 19 and 21 of EGFR and applied the developed assay to detect mutations in 108 cases of surgically resected specimens of NSCLCs, 18 samples of computed tomography (CT)-guided needle lung biopsies, and 20 samples of pleural fluid. In addition, results were then compared with those from direct sequencing and a nonenriched PCR assay. Results: The mutant-enriched PCR that was proved to enrich one mutant of 2 × 103 normal genes detected mutations in 37 cases of 108 resected tumors, seven samples of CT-guided lung biopsies, and seven samples of pleural fluid. Among mutant cases, four resected tumors, two CT-guided lung biopsies, and two pleural fluid were identified as additional mutant cases by the mutant-enriched PCR, which were considered normal based on nonenriched assays. Conclusions: Our results indicate that EGFR mutations are readily detectable by mutant-enriched PCR in various clinical samples. Thus, mutant-enriched PCR may provide a valuable method of potentially detecting a small fraction of mutant genes in heterogeneous specimens, indicating its possible use in clinical application for NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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