Lung Cancer
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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped organs situated inside the chest, they bring oxygen into the body and take out waste carbon dioxide. There is a strong link between smoking and lung cancer. There are two main categories of lung cancer; Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) , and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

Around 42,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. (Source: Cancer Research UK)

This page shows only UK resources. For a more extensive list of resources from around the world see CancerIndex: Lung Cancer Information for Patients and the Public
Information for Health Professionals / Researchers
Latest Research Publications

Information Patients and the Public (7 links)

Information for Health Professionals / Researchers (5 links)

  • PubMed search for publications about Lung Cancer - Limit search to: [Reviews]

    PubMed Central search for free-access publications about Lung Cancer
    MeSH term: Lung Neoplasms
    International US National Library of Medicine
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Latest Research Publications

Showing publications with corresponding authors from the UK (Source: PubMed).

Mok TS, Wu YL, Ahn MJ, et al.
Osimertinib or Platinum-Pemetrexed in EGFR T790M-Positive Lung Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2017; 376(7):629-640 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Osimertinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) that is selective for both EGFR-TKI sensitizing and T790M resistance mutations in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. The efficacy of osimertinib as compared with platinum-based therapy plus pemetrexed in such patients is unknown. Methods In this randomized, international, open-label, phase 3 trial, we assigned 419 patients with T790M-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, who had disease progression after first-line EGFR-TKI therapy, in a 2:1 ratio to receive either oral osimertinib (at a dose of 80 mg once daily) or intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg per square meter of body-surface area) plus either carboplatin (target area under the curve, 5 [AUC5]) or cisplatin (75 mg per square meter) every 3 weeks for up to six cycles; maintenance pemetrexed was allowed. In all the patients, disease had progressed during receipt of first-line EGFR-TKI therapy. The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival. Results The median duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer with osimertinib than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (10.1 months vs. 4.4 months; hazard ratio; 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 to 0.41; P<0.001). The objective response rate was significantly better with osimertinib (71%; 95% CI, 65 to 76) than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (31%; 95% CI, 24 to 40) (odds ratio for objective response, 5.39; 95% CI, 3.47 to 8.48; P<0.001). Among 144 patients with metastases to the central nervous system (CNS), the median duration of progression-free survival was longer among patients receiving osimertinib than among those receiving platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (8.5 months vs. 4.2 months; hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.49). The proportion of patients with adverse events of grade 3 or higher was lower with osimertinib (23%) than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (47%). Conclusions Osimertinib had significantly greater efficacy than platinum therapy plus pemetrexed in patients with T790M-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (including those with CNS metastases) in whom disease had progressed during first-line EGFR-TKI therapy. (Funded by AstraZeneca; AURA3 number, NCT02151981 .).

Reck M, Rodríguez-Abreu D, Robinson AG, et al.
Pembrolizumab versus Chemotherapy for PD-L1-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(19):1823-1833 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against programmed death 1 (PD-1) that has antitumor activity in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with increased activity in tumors that express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Methods In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 305 patients who had previously untreated advanced NSCLC with PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells and no sensitizing mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene or translocation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene to receive either pembrolizumab (at a fixed dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks) or the investigator's choice of platinum-based chemotherapy. Crossover from the chemotherapy group to the pembrolizumab group was permitted in the event of disease progression. The primary end point, progression-free survival, was assessed by means of blinded, independent, central radiologic review. Secondary end points were overall survival, objective response rate, and safety. Results Median progression-free survival was 10.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.7 to not reached) in the pembrolizumab group versus 6.0 months (95% CI, 4.2 to 6.2) in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.68; P<0.001). The estimated rate of overall survival at 6 months was 80.2% in the pembrolizumab group versus 72.4% in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.89; P=0.005). The response rate was higher in the pembrolizumab group than in the chemotherapy group (44.8% vs. 27.8%), the median duration of response was longer (not reached [range, 1.9+ to 14.5+ months] vs. 6.3 months [range, 2.1+ to 12.6+]), and treatment-related adverse events of any grade were less frequent (occurring in 73.4% vs. 90.0% of patients), as were grade 3, 4, or 5 treatment-related adverse events (26.6% vs. 53.3%). Conclusions In patients with advanced NSCLC and PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells, pembrolizumab was associated with significantly longer progression-free and overall survival and with fewer adverse events than was platinum-based chemotherapy. (Funded by Merck; KEYNOTE-024 number, NCT02142738 .).

Sholl LM, Aisner DL, Allen TC, et al.
Liquid Biopsy in Lung Cancer: A Perspective From Members of the Pulmonary Pathology Society.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(8):825-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Liquid biopsy has received extensive media coverage and has been called the holy grail of cancer detection. Attempts at circulating tumor cell and genetic material capture have been progressing for several years, and recent financially and technically feasible improvements of cell capture devices, plasma isolation techniques, and highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction- and sequencing-based methods have advanced the possibility of liquid biopsy of solid tumors. Although practical use of circulating RNA-based testing has been hindered by the need to fractionate blood to enrich for RNAs, the detection of circulating tumor cells has profited from advances in cell capture technology. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved one circulating tumor cell selection platform, the CellSearch System. Although the use of liquid biopsy in a patient population with a genomically defined solid tumor may potentially be clinically useful, it currently does not supersede conventional pretreatment tissue diagnosis of lung cancer. Liquid biopsy has not been validated for lung cancer diagnosis, and its lower sensitivity could lead to significant diagnostic delay if liquid biopsy were to be used in lieu of tissue biopsy. Ultimately, notwithstanding the enthusiasm encompassing liquid biopsy, its clinical utility remains unproven.

Veiga C, Janssens G, Teng CL, et al.
First Clinical Investigation of Cone Beam Computed Tomography and Deformable Registration for Adaptive Proton Therapy for Lung Cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 95(1):549-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: An adaptive proton therapy workflow using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is proposed. It consists of an online evaluation of a fast range-corrected dose distribution based on a virtual CT (vCT) scan. This can be followed by more accurate offline dose recalculation on the vCT scan, which can trigger a rescan CT (rCT) for replanning.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The workflow was tested retrospectively for 20 consecutive lung cancer patients. A diffeomorphic Morphon algorithm was used to generate the lung vCT by deforming the average planning CT onto the CBCT scan. An additional correction step was applied to account for anatomic modifications that cannot be modeled by deformation alone. A set of clinical indicators for replanning were generated according to the water equivalent thickness (WET) and dose statistics and compared with those obtained on the rCT scan. The fast dose approximation consisted of warping the initial planned dose onto the vCT scan according to the changes in WET. The potential under- and over-ranges were assessed as a variation in WET at the target's distal surface.
RESULTS: The range-corrected dose from the vCT scan reproduced clinical indicators similar to those of the rCT scan. The workflow performed well under different clinical scenarios, including atelectasis, lung reinflation, and different types of tumor response. Between the vCT and rCT scans, we found a difference in the measured 95% percentile of the over-range distribution of 3.4 ± 2.7 mm. The limitations of the technique consisted of inherent uncertainties in deformable registration and the drawbacks of CBCT imaging. The correction step was adequate when gross errors occurred but could not recover subtle anatomic or density changes in tumors with complex topology.
CONCLUSIONS: A proton therapy workflow based on CBCT provided clinical indicators similar to those using rCT for patients with lung cancer with considerable anatomic changes.

Ordóñez-Mena JM, Schöttker B, Mons U, et al.
Quantification of the smoking-associated cancer risk with rate advancement periods: meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium.
BMC Med. 2016; 14:62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Smoking is the most important individual risk factor for many cancer sites but its association with breast and prostate cancer is not entirely clear. Rate advancement periods (RAPs) may enhance communication of smoking related risk to the general population. Thus, we estimated RAPs for the association of smoking exposure (smoking status, time since smoking cessation, smoking intensity, and duration) with total and site-specific (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gastric, head and neck, and pancreatic) cancer incidence and mortality.
METHODS: This is a meta-analysis of 19 population-based prospective cohort studies with individual participant data for 897,021 European and American adults. For each cohort we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for the association of smoking exposure with cancer outcomes using Cox regression adjusted for a common set of the most important potential confounding variables. RAPs (in years) were calculated as the ratio of the logarithms of the HRs for a given smoking exposure variable and age. Meta-analyses were employed to summarize cohort-specific HRs and RAPs.
RESULTS: Overall, 140,205 subjects had a first incident cancer, and 53,164 died from cancer, during an average follow-up of 12 years. Current smoking advanced the overall risk of developing and dying from cancer by eight and ten years, respectively, compared with never smokers. The greatest advancements in cancer risk and mortality were seen for lung cancer and the least for breast cancer. Smoking cessation was statistically significantly associated with delays in the risk of cancer development and mortality compared with continued smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: This investigation shows that smoking, even among older adults, considerably advances, and cessation delays, the risk of developing and dying from cancer. These findings may be helpful in more effectively communicating the harmful effects of smoking and the beneficial effect of smoking cessation.

Kikutake C, Yahara K
Identification of Epigenetic Biomarkers of Lung Adenocarcinoma through Multi-Omics Data Analysis.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0152918 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation or histone modifications are essential for the regulation of gene expression and development of tissues. Alteration of epigenetic modifications can be used as an epigenetic biomarker for diagnosis and as promising targets for epigenetic therapy. A recent study explored cancer-cell specific epigenetic biomarkers by examining different types of epigenetic modifications simultaneously. However, it was based on microarrays and reported biomarkers that were also present in normal cells at a low frequency. Here, we first analyzed multi-omics data (including ChIP-Seq data of six types of histone modifications: H3K27ac, H3K4me1, H3K9me3, H3K36me3, H3K27me3, and H3K4me3) obtained from 26 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and a normal cell line. We identified six genes with both H3K27ac and H3K4me3 histone modifications in their promoter regions, which were not present in the normal cell line, but present in ≥85% (22 out of 26) and ≤96% (25 out of 26) of the lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Of these genes, NUP210 (encoding a main component of the nuclear pore complex) was the only gene in which the two modifications were not detected in another normal cell line. RNA-Seq analysis revealed that NUP210 was aberrantly overexpressed among the 26 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, although the frequency of NUP210 overexpression was lower (19.3%) in 57 lung adenocarcinoma tissue samples studied and stored in another database. This study provides a basis to discover epigenetic biomarkers highly specific to a certain cancer, based on multi-omics data at the cell population level.

O'Dowd EL, Lüchtenborg M, Baldwin DR, et al.
Predicting death from surgery for lung cancer: A comparison of two scoring systems in two European countries.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 95:88-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Current British guidelines advocate the use of risk prediction scores such as Thoracoscore to estimate mortality prior to radical surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A recent publication used the National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) to produce a score to predict 90 day mortality (NLCA score). The aim of this study is to validate the NLCA score, and compare its performance with Thoracoscore.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed an internal validation using 2858 surgical patients from NLCA and an external validation using 3191 surgical patients from the Danish Lung Cancer Registry (DLCR). We calculated the proportion that died within 90 days of surgery. The discriminatory power of both scores was assessed by a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and an area under the curve (AUC) calculation.
RESULTS: Ninety day mortality was 5% in both groups. AUC values for internal and external validation of NLCA score and validation of Thoracoscore were 0.68 (95% CI 0.63-0.72), 0.60 (95% CI 0.56-0.65) and 0.60 (95% CI 0.54-0.66) respectively. Post-hoc analysis was performed using NLCA records on 15554 surgical patients to derive summary tables for 30 and 90 day mortality, stratified by procedure type, age and performance status.
CONCLUSIONS: Neither score performs well enough to be advocated for individual risk stratification prior to lung cancer surgery. It may be that additional physiological parameters are required; however this is a further project. In the interim we propose the use of our summary tables that provide the real-life range of mortality for lobectomy and pneumonectomy.

Churg A, Attanoos R, Borczuk AC, et al.
Dataset for Reporting of Malignant Mesothelioma of the Pleura or Peritoneum: Recommendations From the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR).
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(10):1104-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: -The International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting is a not-for-profit organization formed by the Royal Colleges of Pathologists of Australasia and the United Kingdom; the College of American Pathologists; the Canadian Association of Pathologists-Association Canadienne des Pathologists, in association with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; and the European Society of Pathology. Its goal is to produce common, internationally agreed upon, evidence-based datasets for use throughout the world.
OBJECTIVE: -To describe a dataset developed by the Expert Panel of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting for reporting malignant mesothelioma of both the pleura and peritoneum. The dataset is composed of "required" (mandatory) and "recommended" (nonmandatory) elements.
DESIGN: -Based on a review of the most recent evidence and supported by explanatory commentary.
RESULTS: -Eight required elements and 7 recommended elements were agreed upon by the Expert Panel to represent the essential information for reporting malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum.
CONCLUSIONS: -In time, the widespread use of an internationally agreed upon, structured, pathology dataset for mesothelioma will lead not only to improved patient management but also provide valuable data for research and international benchmarks.

Johnson N, De Ieso P, Migliorini G, et al.
Cytochrome P450 Allele CYP3A7*1C Associates with Adverse Outcomes in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Breast, and Lung Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(6):1485-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CYP3A enzymes metabolize endogenous hormones and chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer, thereby potentially affecting drug effectiveness. Here, we refined the genetic basis underlying the functional effects of a CYP3A haplotype on urinary estrone glucuronide (E1G) levels and tested for an association between CYP3A genotype and outcome in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), breast, or lung cancers. The most significantly associated SNP was rs45446698, an SNP that tags the CYP3A7*1C allele; this SNP was associated with a 54% decrease in urinary E1G levels. Genotyping this SNP in 1,008 breast cancer, 1,128 lung cancer, and 347 CLL patients, we found that rs45446698 was associated with breast cancer mortality (HR, 1.74; P = 0.03), all-cause mortality in lung cancer patients (HR, 1.43; P = 0.009), and CLL progression (HR, 1.62; P = 0.03). We also found borderline evidence of a statistical interaction between the CYP3A7*1C allele, treatment of patients with a cytotoxic agent that is a CYP3A substrate, and clinical outcome (Pinteraction = 0.06). The CYP3A7*1C allele, which results in adult expression of the fetal CYP3A7 gene, is likely to be the functional allele influencing levels of circulating endogenous sex hormones and outcome in these various malignancies. Further studies confirming these associations and determining the mechanism by which CYP3A7*1C influences outcome are required. One possibility is that standard chemotherapy regimens that include CYP3A substrates may not be optimal for the approximately 8% of cancer patients who are CYP3A7*1C carriers.

Egashira Y, Singh S, Bandula S, Illing R
Percutaneous High-Energy Microwave Ablation for the Treatment of Pulmonary Tumors: A Retrospective Single-Center Experience.
J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2016; 27(4):474-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous high-energy microwave ablation (MWA) for the treatment for pulmonary tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review was undertaken of 44 patients (21 men, 23 women; median age, 66 y; range, 17-89 y) who underwent 62 sessions of high-energy MWA for 87 pulmonary tumors at a single tertiary referral center between June 2012 and June 2014. Primary tumor origin was sarcoma (n = 23), colorectal (n = 16), lung (n = 2), esophageal (n = 1), breast (n = 1), and bladder (n = 1). Median tumor size was 12 mm (range, 6-45 mm). Technical success was recorded contemporaneously, complication rate at 30 days was recorded prospectively, and technique effectiveness was assessed by longitudinal follow-up CT scan.
RESULTS: Primary technical success was achieved in 94% of ablation sessions. The median follow-up interval was 15 months (range, 6.2-29.5 mo) during which time local tumor progression was observed in two of 87 tumors (technique effectiveness 98%). Pneumothorax requiring chest tube insertion occurred in 19%; delayed pneumothorax occurred in four patients. No hemoptysis, infection, or other complications were recorded.
CONCLUSIONS: High-energy MWA is safe and effective for the destruction of lung tumors.

Kerr KM, Nicolson MC
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, PD-L1, and the Pathologist.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(3):249-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Although most primary cancers of the lung carry a heavy mutational load and will potentially present many "nonself" antigens to the immune system, there are a wide range of possible mechanisms for tumors to avoid so-called immune surveillance. One such mechanism is the adoption of immune checkpoints to inhibit the host immune response. Immune checkpoint inhibitors show great promise in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
OBJECTIVE: To discuss the possibility of biomarker selection of patients for these therapies. This is becoming a much debated issue, and the immunohistochemical detection of Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1), the ligand for the inhibitory Programmed Death receptor 1 (PD-1) checkpoint, is one possible biomarker. Data so far available show some conflicting results, but PD-L1 immunohistochemistry looks likely to be introduced into clinical use for selecting patients for treatment with anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 therapies. Given that there are 4 such drugs rapidly approaching regulatory approval, each with its own independent PD-L1 immunohistochemistry biomarker test, both oncologists and pathologists face some significant challenges.
DATA SOURCES: Peer-reviewed literature and meeting proceedings, especially during the last 12 months, were used.
CONCLUSIONS: The biology of PD-1/PD-L1 is complex, the clinical data for these drugs show considerable variation, the selection performance of the PD-L1 biomarker test is not perfect, and the existence of 4 drug/test combinations adds significantly to the problems faced. This article addresses some of the background to this therapeutic problem and discusses some of the issues ahead.

Sherwood JL, Corcoran C, Brown H, et al.
Optimised Pre-Analytical Methods Improve KRAS Mutation Detection in Circulating Tumour DNA (ctDNA) from Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0150197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Non-invasive mutation testing using circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is an attractive premise. This could enable patients without available tumour sample to access more treatment options.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Peripheral blood and matched tumours were analysed from 45 NSCLC patients. We investigated the impact of pre-analytical variables on DNA yield and/or KRAS mutation detection: sample collection tube type, incubation time, centrifugation steps, plasma input volume and DNA extraction kits.
RESULTS: 2 hr incubation time and double plasma centrifugation (2000 x g) reduced overall DNA yield resulting in lowered levels of contaminating genomic DNA (gDNA). Reduced "contamination" and increased KRAS mutation detection was observed using cell-free DNA Blood Collection Tubes (cfDNA BCT) (Streck), after 72 hrs following blood draw compared to EDTA tubes. Plasma input volume and use of different DNA extraction kits impacted DNA yield.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that successful ctDNA recovery for mutation detection in NSCLC is dependent on pre-analytical steps. Development of standardised methods for the detection of KRAS mutations from ctDNA specimens is recommended to minimise the impact of pre-analytical steps on mutation detection rates. Where rapid sample processing is not possible the use of cfDNA BCT tubes would be advantageous.

Lazar C, Gatto L, Ferro M, et al.
Accounting for the Multiple Natures of Missing Values in Label-Free Quantitative Proteomics Data Sets to Compare Imputation Strategies.
J Proteome Res. 2016; 15(4):1116-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Missing values are a genuine issue in label-free quantitative proteomics. Recent works have surveyed the different statistical methods to conduct imputation and have compared them on real or simulated data sets and recommended a list of missing value imputation methods for proteomics application. Although insightful, these comparisons do not account for two important facts: (i) depending on the proteomics data set, the missingness mechanism may be of different natures and (ii) each imputation method is devoted to a specific type of missingness mechanism. As a result, we believe that the question at stake is not to find the most accurate imputation method in general but instead the most appropriate one. We describe a series of comparisons that support our views: For instance, we show that a supposedly "under-performing" method (i.e., giving baseline average results), if applied at the "appropriate" time in the data-processing pipeline (before or after peptide aggregation) on a data set with the "appropriate" nature of missing values, can outperform a blindly applied, supposedly "better-performing" method (i.e., the reference method from the state-of-the-art). This leads us to formulate few practical guidelines regarding the choice and the application of an imputation method in a proteomics context.

Rooney C, Geh C, Williams V, et al.
Characterization of FGFR1 Locus in sqNSCLC Reveals a Broad and Heterogeneous Amplicon.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0149628 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
FGFR1 amplification occurs in ~20% of sqNSCLC and trials with FGFR inhibitors have selected FGFR1 amplified patients by FISH. Lung cancer cell lines were profiled for sensitivity to AZD4547, a potent, selective inhibitor of FGFRs 1-3. Sensitivity to FGFR inhibition was associated with but not wholly predicted by increased FGFR1 gene copy number. Additional biomarker assays evaluating expression of FGFRs and correlation between amplification and expression in clinical tissues are therefore warranted. We validated nanoString for mRNA expression analysis of 194 genes, including FGFRs, from clinical tumour tissue. In a panel of sqNSCLC tumours 14.4% (13/90) were FGFR1 amplified by FISH. Although mean FGFR1 expression was significantly higher in amplified samples, there was significant overlap in the range of expression levels between the amplified and non-amplified cohorts with several non-amplified samples expressing FGFR1 to levels equivalent to amplified samples. Statistical analysis revealed increased expression of FGFR1 neighboring genes on the 8p12 amplicon (BAG4, LSM1 and WHSC1L1) in FGFR1 amplified tumours, suggesting a broad rather than focal amplicon and raises the potential for codependencies. High resolution aCGH analysis of pre-clinical and clinical samples supported the presence of a broad and heterogeneous amplicon around the FGFR1 locus. In conclusion, the range of FGFR1 expression levels in both FGFR1 amplified and non-amplified NSCLC tissues, together with the breadth and intra-patient heterogeneity of the 8p amplicon highlights the need for gene expression analysis of clinical samples to inform the understanding of determinants of response to FGFR inhibitors. In this respect the nanoString platform provides an attractive option for RNA analysis of FFPE clinical samples.

Gillon SA, Toufektzian L, Harrison-Phipps K, et al.
Perioperative Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation to Facilitate Lung Resection After Contralateral Pneumonectomy.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2016; 101(3):e71-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 75-year-old man previously underwent pneumonectomy for lung cancer. He subsequently had colorectal adenocarcinoma, and resection of metastases from his remaining lung was performed. Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was used for perioperative respiratory support to facilitate intraoperative deflation of the remaining lung and optimization of the surgical field. Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was continued postoperatively, allowing immediate extubation, thus avoiding strain on suture lines. Advantages, and potential risks, of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for thoracic surgery are discussed.

Meredith SL, Bryant JL, Babur M, et al.
Irradiation Decreases the Neuroendocrine Biomarker Pro-Opiomelanocortin in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0148404 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an extremely aggressive disease, commonly displaying therapy-resistant relapse. We have previously identified neuroendocrine and epithelial phenotypes in SCLC tumours and the neuroendocrine marker, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), correlated with worse overall survival in patients. However, the effect of treatment on these phenotypes is not understood. The current study aimed to determine the effect of repeated irradiation treatment on SCLC cell phenotype, focussing on the neuroendocrine marker, POMC.
RESULTS: Human SCLC cells (DMS 79) were established as subcutaneous xenograft tumours in CBA nude mice and then exposed to repeated 2Gy irradiation. In untreated animals, POMC in the blood closely mirrored tumour growth; an ideal characteristic for a circulating biomarker. Following repeated localised irradiation in vivo, circulating POMC decreased (p< 0.01), in parallel with a decrease in tumour size, but remained low even when the tumours re-established. The excised tumours displayed reduced and distinctly heterogeneous expression of POMC compared to untreated tumours. There was no difference in the epithelial marker, cytokeratin. However, there were significantly more N-cadherin positive cells in the irradiated tumours. To investigate the tumour response to irradiation, DMS79 cells were repeatedly irradiated in vitro and the surviving cells selected. POMC expression was reduced, while mesenchymal markers N-cadherin, β1-integrin, fibroblast-specific protein 1, β-catenin and Zeb1 expression were amplified in the more irradiation-primed cells. There were no consistent changes in epithelial marker expression. Cell morphology changed dramatically with repeatedly irradiated cells displaying a more elongated shape, suggesting a switch to a more mesenchymal phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, POMC biomarker expression and secretion were reduced in SCLC tumours which regrew after irradiation and in repeatedly irradiation (irradiation-primed) cells. Therefore, POMC was no longer predictive of tumour burden. This highlights the importance of fully evaluating biomarkers during and after therapy to assess clinical utility. Furthermore, the gain in mesenchymal characteristics in irradiated cells could be indicative of a more invasive phenotype.

Lesnik J, Antes T, Kim J, et al.
Registered report: Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET.
Elife. 2016; 5:e07383 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology seeks to address growing concerns about reproducibility in scientific research by conducting replications of selected experiments from a number of high-profile papers in the field of cancer biology. The papers, which were published between 2010 and 2012, were selected on the basis of citations and Altmetric scores (Errington et al., 2014). This Registered Report describes the proposed replication plan of key experiments from "Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET" by Peinado and colleagues, published in Nature Medicine in 2012 (Peinado et al., 2012). The key experiments being replicated are from Figures 4E, as well as Supplementary Figures 1C and 5A. In these experiments, Peinado and colleagues show tumor exosomes enhance metastasis to bones and lungs, which is diminished by reducing Met expression in exosomes (Peinado et al., 2012). The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology is a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange and the results of the replications will be published in eLife.

Schuler M, Wu YL, Hirsh V, et al.
First-Line Afatinib versus Chemotherapy in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Common Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Gene Mutations and Brain Metastases.
J Thorac Oncol. 2016; 11(3):380-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Metastatic spread to the brain is common in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but these patients are generally excluded from prospective clinical trials. The studies, phase III study of afatinib or cisplatin plus pemetrexed in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma with EGFR mutations (LUX-Lung 3) and a randomized, open-label, phase III study of BIBW 2992 versus chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with stage IIIB or IV adenocarcinoma of the lung harbouring an EGFR activating mutation (LUX-Lung 6) investigated first-line afatinib versus platinum-based chemotherapy in epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) mutation-positive patients with NSCLC and included patients with brain metastases; prespecified subgroup analyses are assessed in this article.
METHODS: For both LUX-Lung 3 and LUX-Lung 6, prespecified subgroup analyses of progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and objective response rate were undertaken in patients with asymptomatic brain metastases at baseline (n = 35 and n = 46, respectively). Post hoc analyses of clinical outcomes was undertaken in the combined data set (n = 81).
RESULTS: In both studies, there was a trend toward improved PFS with afatinib versus chemotherapy in patients with brain metastases (LUX-Lung 3: 11.1 versus 5.4 months, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.54, p = 0.1378; LUX-Lung 6: 8.2 versus 4.7 months, HR = 0.47, p = 0.1060). The magnitude of PFS improvement with afatinib was similar to that observed in patients without brain metastases. In combined analysis, PFS was significantly improved with afatinib versus with chemotherapy in patients with brain metastases (8.2 versus 5.4 months; HR, 0.50; p = 0.0297). Afatinib significantly improved the objective response rate versus chemotherapy in patients with brain metastases. Safety findings were consistent with previous reports.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings lend support to the clinical activity of afatinib in EGFR mutation-positive patients with NSCLC and asymptomatic brain metastases.

Senan S, Brade A, Wang LH, et al.
PROCLAIM: Randomized Phase III Trial of Pemetrexed-Cisplatin or Etoposide-Cisplatin Plus Thoracic Radiation Therapy Followed by Consolidation Chemotherapy in Locally Advanced Nonsquamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(9):953-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The phase III PROCLAIM study evaluated overall survival (OS) of concurrent pemetrexed-cisplatin and thoracic radiation therapy (TRT) followed by consolidation pemetrexed, versus etoposide-cisplatin and TRT followed by nonpemetrexed doublet consolidation therapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with stage IIIA/B unresectable nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer randomly received (1:1) pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) and cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) intravenously every 3 weeks for three cycles plus concurrent TRT (60 to 66 Gy) followed by pemetrexed consolidation every 3 weeks for four cycles (arm A), or standard therapy with etoposide 50 mg/m(2) and cisplatin 50 mg/m(2) intravenously, every 4 weeks for two cycles plus concurrent TRT (60 to 66 Gy) followed by two cycles of consolidation platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (arm B). The primary objective was OS. The study was designed as a superiority trial with 80% power to detect an OS hazard ratio of 0.74 with a type 1 error of .05.
RESULTS: Enrollment was stopped early because of futility. Five hundred ninety-eight patients were randomly assigned (301 to arm A, 297 to arm B) and 555 patients (283 in arm A, 272 in arm B) were treated. Arm A was not superior to arm B in terms of OS (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.20; median, 26.8 v 25.0 months; P = .831). Arm A had a significantly lower incidence of any drug-related grade 3 to 4 adverse events (64.0% v 76.8%; P = .001), including neutropenia (24.4% v 44.5%; P < .001), during the overall treatment period.
CONCLUSION: Pemetrexed-cisplatin combined with TRT followed by consolidation pemetrexed was not superior to standard chemoradiotherapy for stage III unresectable nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer.

Argula RG, Kokosi M, Lo P, et al.
A Novel Quantitative Computed Tomographic Analysis Suggests How Sirolimus Stabilizes Progressive Air Trapping in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016; 13(3):342-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RATIONALE: The Multicenter International Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Efficacy and Safety of Sirolimus (MILES) trial demonstrated that sirolimus stabilized lung function and improved measures of functional performance and quality of life in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis. The physiologic mechanisms of these beneficial actions of sirolimus are incompletely understood.
OBJECTIVES: To prospectively determine the longitudinal computed tomographic lung imaging correlates of lung function change in MILES patients treated with placebo or sirolimus.
METHODS: We determined the baseline to 12-month change in computed tomographic image-derived lung volumes and the volume of the lung occupied by cysts in the 31 MILES participants (17 in sirolimus group, 14 in placebo group) with baseline and 12-month scans.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: There was a trend toward an increase in median expiratory cyst volume percentage in the placebo group and a reduction in the sirolimus group (+2.68% vs. +0.97%, respectively; P = 0.10). The computed tomographic image-derived residual volume and the ratio of residual volume to total lung capacity increased more in the placebo group than in the sirolimus group (+214.4 ml vs. +2.9 ml [P = 0.054] and +0.05 ml vs. -0.01 ml [P = 0.0498], respectively). A Markov transition chain analysis of respiratory cycle cyst volume changes revealed greater dynamic variation in the sirolimus group than in the placebo group at the 12-month time point.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data suggest that sirolimus attenuates progressive gas trapping in lymphangioleiomyomatosis, consistent with a beneficial effect of the drug on airflow obstruction. We speculate that a reduction in lymphangioleiomyomatosis cell burden around small airways and cyst walls alleviates progressive airflow limitation and facilitates cyst emptying.

Warford A
In situ hybridisation: Technologies and their application to understanding disease.
Prog Histochem Cytochem. 2016; 50(4):37-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
In situ hybridisation (ISH) is unique amongst molecular analysis methods in providing for the precise microscopic localisation of genes, mRNA and microRNA in metaphase spreads, cell and tissue preparations. The method is well established as a tool to guide appropriate therapeutic intervention in breast, gastric and lung cancer. With the description of ultrasensitive ISH technologies for low copy mRNA demonstration and the relative ease by which microRNA can be visualised, the applications for research and diagnostic purposes is set to increase dramatically. In this review ISH is considered with emphasis on recent technological developments and surveyed for present and future applications in the context of the demonstration of genes, mRNA and microRNA in health and disease.

Chiang A, Thibault I, Warner A, et al.
A comparison between accelerated hypofractionation and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Results of a propensity score-matched analysis.
Radiother Oncol. 2016; 118(3):478-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) has become standard for inoperable early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is no randomized evidence demonstrating benefit over more fractionated radiotherapy. We compared accelerated hypofractionation (AH) and SABR using a propensity score-matched analysis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1997-2007, 119 patients (T1-3N0M0 NSCLC) were treated with AH (48-60 Gy, 12-15 fractions). Prior to SABR, this represented our institutional standard. From 2008-2012, 192 patients (T1-3N0M0 NSCLC) were treated with SABR (48-52 Gy, 4-5 fractions). A total of 114 patients (57 per cohort) were matched (1:1 ratio, caliper: 0.10) using propensity scores.
RESULTS: Median follow-up (range) for the AH cohort was 36.3 (2.5-109.1) months, while that for the SABR group was 32.5 (0.3-62.6)months. Three-year overall survival (OS) and local control (LC) rates were 49.5% vs. 72.4% [p=0.024; hazard ratio (HR): 2.33 (1.28, 4.23), p=0.006] and 71.9% vs. 89.3% [p=0.077; HR: 5.56 (1.53, 20.2), p=0.009], respectively. On multivariable analysis, tumour diameter and PET staging were predictive for OS, while the only predictive factor for LC was treatment cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: OS and LC were improved with SABR, although OS is more closely related to non-treatment factors. This represents one of the few studies comparing AH to SABR for early-stage lung cancer.

Clavé S, Gimeno J, Muñoz-Mármol AM, et al.
ROS1 copy number alterations are frequent in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(7):8019-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the prevalence and partners of ROS1 rearrangements, to explore the correlation between FISH and IHC assays, and to investigate clinical implications of ROS1 copy number alterations (CNAs).
METHODS: A total of 314 NSCLC patients were screened using ROS1 FISH break-apart probes. Of these, 47 surgical tumors were included in TMAs to analyze ROS1 heterogeneity assessed either by FISH and IHC, and chromosome 6 aneusomy. To characterize ROS1 partners, probes for CD74, EZR, SLC34A2 and SDC3 genes were developed. ROS1 positive FISH cases were screened also by IHC.
RESULTS: Five patients were ROS1 positive (1.8%). We identified two known fusion partners in three patients: CD74 and SLC34A2. Four out of five ROS1 rearranged patients were female, never smokers and with adenocarcinoma histology. Rearranged cases were also positive by IHC as well. According to ROS1 CNAs, we found a prevalence of 37.8% gains/amplifications and 25.1% deletions.
CONCLUSIONS: This study point out the high prevalence of ROS1 CNAs in a large series of NSCLC. ROS1 gains, amplifications and deletions, most of them due to chromosome 6 polysomy or monosomy, were heterogeneous within a tumor and had no impact on overall survival.

Sholl LM, Aisner DL, Allen TC, et al.
Programmed Death Ligand-1 Immunohistochemistry--A New Challenge for Pathologists: A Perspective From Members of the Pulmonary Pathology Society.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(4):341-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The binding of programmed death ligand-1 and ligand-2 (PD-L1 and PD-L2) to PD-1 blocks T-cell-mediated immune response to tumor. Antibodies that target programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) will block the ligand-receptor interface, thereby allowing T cells to attack the tumor and increase antitumor immune response. In clinical trials, PD-1 inhibitors have been associated with an approximately 20% overall response rate in unselected patients with non-small cell lung cancer, with sustained tumor response in a subset of patients treated by these immune checkpoint inhibitors. Facing a proliferation of PD-L1 immunohistochemistry clones, staining platforms, and scoring criteria, the pathologist must decide on the feasibility of introducing a newly approved companion diagnostic assay that may require purchase not only of a specific antibody kit but of a particular staining platform. Given the likely reality that clinical practice may, in the near future, demand access to 4 different PD-L1 antibodies coupled with different immunohistochemistry platforms, laboratories will be challenged with deciding among this variety of testing methods, each with its own potential benefits. Another immediate challenge to PD-L1 testing in lung cancer patients is that of access to adequate tumor tissue, given that non-small cell lung cancer samples are often extremely limited in size. With PD-L1 testing it has become clear that the historically used US regulatory approach of one assay-one drug will not be sustainable. One evolving concept is that of complementary diagnostics, a novel regulatory pathway initiated by the US Food and Drug Administration, which is distinct from companion diagnostics in that it may present additional flexibility. Although pathologists need to face the practical reality that oncologists will be asking regularly for the PD-L1 immunohistochemistry status of their patients' tumors, we should also keep in mind that there may be room for improvement of biomarkers for immunotherapy response. The field is rich with opportunities for investigation into biomarkers of immunotherapy response, particularly in the form of collaborative, multidisciplinary studies that incorporate oncologists, pathologists, and basic scientists. Pathologists must take the lead in the rational incorporation of these biomarkers into clinical practice.

Brims FJ, Meniawy TM, Duffus I, et al.
A Novel Clinical Prediction Model for Prognosis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Using Decision Tree Analysis.
J Thorac Oncol. 2016; 11(4):573-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer with a heterogeneous prognosis. Prognostic models are not widely utilized clinically. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis examines the interaction of multiple variables with a given outcome.
METHODS: Between 2005 and 2014, all cases with pathologically confirmed MPM had routinely available histological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics recorded. Classification and regression tree analysis was performed using 29 variables with 18-month survival as the dependent variable. Risk groups were refined according to survival and clinical characteristics. The model was then tested on an external international cohort.
RESULTS: A total of 482 cases were included in the derivation cohort; the median survival was 12.6 months, and the median age was 69 years. The model defined four risk groups with clear survival differences (p < 0.0001). The strongest predictive variable was the presence of weight loss. The group with the best survival at 18 months (86.7% alive, median survival 34.0 months, termed risk group 1) had no weight loss, a hemoglobin level greater than 153 g/L, and a serum albumin level greater than 43 g/L. The group with the worst survival (0% alive, median survival 7.5 months, termed risk group 4d) had weight loss, a performance score of 0 or 1, and sarcomatoid histological characteristics. The C-statistic for the model was 0.761, and the sensitivity was 94.5%. Validation on 174 external cases confirmed the model's ability to discriminate between risk groups in an alternative data set with fair performance (C-statistic 0.68).
CONCLUSIONS: We have developed and validated a simple, clinically relevant model to reliably discriminate patients at high and lower risk of death using routinely available variables from the time of diagnosis in unselected populations of patients with MPM.

Malottki K, Popat S, Deeks JJ, et al.
Problems of variable biomarker evaluation in stratified medicine research--A case study of ERCC1 in non-small-cell lung cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 92:1-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Consistency of procedures for the evaluation of a predictive biomarker (including sample collection, processing, assay and scoring system) based on adequate evidence is necessary to implement research findings in clinical practice. As a case study we evaluated how a particular predictive biomarker, ERCC1, was assessed in research on platinum-based chemotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer and what motivated the choice of procedure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review of studies completed since 2007 and ongoing was undertaken. Questionnaires on details of ERCC1 evaluation procedures and the rationale for their choice were sent to contacts of identified studies.
RESULTS: Thirty-three studies of platinum-based chemotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer using ERCC1 were identified. A reply to the questionnaire was received for 16 studies. Procedures for ERCC1 evaluation varied substantially and included reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (nine studies), immunohistochemistry (five studies) and other methods (multiple methods-two studies, NER polymorphism-one study). In five studies ERCC1 use was planned, but not undertaken. In nine data was insufficient to identify the procedure. For each assay there was variation across studies in the details of the laboratory techniques, scoring systems and methods for obtaining samples.
CONCLUSIONS: We found large variation across studies in ERCC1 evaluation procedures. This will limit the future comparability of results between these different studies. To enable evidence-based clinical practice, consensus is needed on a validated procedure to assess a predictive biomarker in the early phase of research. We believe that ERCC1 is not untypical of biomarkers being investigated for stratified medicine.

Goldstraw P, Chansky K, Crowley J, et al.
The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: Proposals for Revision of the TNM Stage Groupings in the Forthcoming (Eighth) Edition of the TNM Classification for Lung Cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2016; 11(1):39-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
The IASLC Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee has collected a new database of 94,708 cases donated from 35 sources in 16 countries around the globe. This has now been analysed by our statistical partners at Cancer Research And Biostatistics and, in close collaboration with the members of the committee proposals have been developed for the T, N, and M categories of the 8th edition of the TNM Classification for lung cancer due to be published late 2016. In this publication we describe the methods used to evaluate the resultant Stage groupings and the proposals put forward for the 8th edition.

Dubois F, Keller M, Calvayrac O, et al.
RASSF1A Suppresses the Invasion and Metastatic Potential of Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells by Inhibiting YAP Activation through the GEF-H1/RhoB Pathway.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(6):1627-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene RASSF1A by promoter hypermethylation represents a key event underlying the initiation and progression of lung cancer. RASSF1A inactivation is also associated with poor prognosis and may promote metastatic spread. In this study, we investigated how RASSF1A inactivation conferred invasive phenotypes to human bronchial cells. RNAi-mediated silencing of RASSF1A induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), fomenting a motile and invasive cellular phenotype in vitro and increased metastatic prowess in vivo. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RASSF1A blocked tumor growth by stimulating cofilin/PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation of the guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1, thereby stimulating its ability to activate the antimetastatic small GTPase RhoB. Furthermore, RASSF1A reduced nuclear accumulation of the Hippo pathway transcriptional cofactor Yes-associated protein (YAP), which was reinforced by RhoB activation. Collectively, our results indicated that RASSF1 acts to restrict EMT and invasion by indirectly controlling YAP nuclear shuttling and activation through a RhoB-regulated cytoskeletal remodeling process, with potential implications to delay the progression of RASSF1-hypermethylated lung tumors.

Kerr KM, Hirsch FR
Programmed Death Ligand-1 Immunohistochemistry: Friend or Foe?
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(4):326-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
The approval of anti-programmed death receptor (PD)-1 therapies for non-small cell lung cancer has directed the spotlight on programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry as the latest predictive biomarker potentially required in this disease. Several other drugs in this class will likely be approved in the future and each has been developed with a unique anti-PD-L1 immunohistochemistry test. The prospect of 5 drugs competing in the same treatment area, each possibly requiring PD-L1 immunohistochemistry testing, presents a challenge for pathologists unlike any previously faced. The key issue is whether laboratories will attempt to deliver the trial-validated assays for one or more of these treatments, or introduce instead one or more laboratory developed tests, or attempt to provide a single PD-L1 immunohistochemistry assay for all possible anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 treatments that may be used. This paper discusses some of the issues, challenges, hazards, and possible solutions that have recently emerged in this most complex interface between cancer therapeutics and laboratory biomarker testing.

Zer A, Ding K, Lee SM, et al.
Pooled Analysis of the Prognostic and Predictive Value of KRAS Mutation Status and Mutation Subtype in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.
J Thorac Oncol. 2016; 11(3):312-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: This pooled analysis of four trials of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) versus placebo was conducted to clarify the prognostic and predictive roles of Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutations (MUTs) and to explore the importance of MUT subtype.
METHODS: Data were pooled from four trials of EGFR TKIs versus placebo (National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group [NCIC CTG] trial BR.21, TOPICAL, NCIC CTG trial BR.26, and NCIC CTG trial BR.19). Analyses of the combined data were performed to determine relationships of MUT status/subtype to response and survival end points.
RESULTS: KRAS status was known for 1362 of 2624 patients (785 receiving EGFR TKIs and 577 receiving placebo); 275 (20%) had KRAS MUTs (248 at codon 12; 15 at codon 13; 12 at other codons). In the placebo arms there was no difference in overall survival (OS) for patients with KRAS MUTs or wild-type tumors (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.04, confidence interval [CI]: 0.81-1.33 for univariable analysis and HR = 1.09, CI: 0.85-1.41 for multivariable analysis). Patients with guanine-to-thymidine transversion MUTs had longer OS than did those with guanine-to-adenine transition MUTs or guanine-to-cytosine transversion MUTs (median OS 6.3, 1.8, and 3.9 months, respectively, p = 0.01). Patients with KRAS MUT tumors derived no benefit from EGFR TKIs (OS HR = 1.13, CI: 0.85-1.51; progression-free survival HR = 1.02, CI: 0.76-1.36). The interaction between KRAS status and EGFR TKI effect was significant for progression-free survival (p = 0.04) but not for OS (p = 0.17). For patients with G12V MUTs, EGFR TKI treatment was harmful (OS HR = 1.96, CI: 1.03-3.70, p = 0.04), whereas guanine-to-adenine transition MUTs were associated with an OS benefit from EGFR TKIs (HR = 0.49, CI: 0.24-1.00, p = 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, KRAS MUT is neither prognostic nor predictive of benefit from EGFR TKIs. However, it appears that KRAS MUT subtypes are not homogeneous in terms of their prognostic and predictive effects. These observations require prospective validation.

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