Epidermal growth factor receptor messenger RNA expression, gene dosage, and gefitinib sensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.19). 05/2006; 12(10):3078-84. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-0106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA expression and EGFR gene dosage by quantitative PCR in tumor samples obtained from patients with gefitinib-treated non-small cell lung cancer were analyzed in order to determine the association with treatment outcome, clinical, and biological features [EGFR copy number by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), EGFR tyrosine kinase mutations, and EGFR protein expression].
EGFR mRNA expression was measured by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR in 64 patients, and EGFR gene dosage was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR in 82 patients from paraffin-embedded specimens.
EGFR mRNA expression was higher in responders to gefitinib as compared with nonresponders (P = 0.012). Patients with high EGFR mRNA expression (>5.01) had 43% response probability, whereas patients with low EGFR mRNA expression had 8% response probability (P = 0.006). Patients with high EGFR mRNA expression had longer median progression-free (5.3 versus 2.8 months, P = 0.028) but not overall survival (13.8 versus 10.9 months, P = 0.87). EGFR mRNA expression was higher in FISH-positive patients (P = 0.001) and in patients with positive EGFR immunostaining (P < 0.001) but not in patients with EGFR mutations (P = 0.19). EGFR gene dosage did not predict response (P = 0.54), progression-free (P = 0.73), or overall survival (P = 0.89). EGFR gene dosage was not associated with FISH positivity (P = 0.15), relative mRNA expression (P = 0.27), EGFR mutation status (P = 0.39), and EGFR protein expression (P = 0.35).
EGFR mRNA expression is a predictive biomarker for response to gefitinib and to progression-free survival after gefitinib treatment. EGFR gene dosage is neither predictive for response nor progression-free nor overall survival.

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