Complex Mutations & Subpopulations of Deletions at Exon 19 of EGFR in NSCLC Revealed by Next Generation Sequencing: Potential Clinical Implications

Center of Predictive Molecular Medicine, University-Foundation, Chieti, Italy.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 07/2012; 7(7):e42164. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042164
Source: PubMed


Microdeletions at exon 19 are the most frequent genetic alterations affecting the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and they are strongly associated with response to treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. A series of 116 NSCLC DNA samples investigated by Sanger Sequencing (SS), including 106 samples carrying exon 19 EGFR deletions and 10 without deletions (control samples), were subjected to deep next generation sequencing (NGS). All samples with deletions at SS showed deletions with NGS. No deletions were seen in control cases. In 93 (88%) cases, deletions detected by NGS were exactly corresponding to those identified by SS. In 13 cases (12%) NGS resolved deletions not accurately characterized by SS. In 21 (20%) cases the NGS showed presence of complex (double/multiple) frameshift deletions producing a net in-frame change. In 5 of these cases the SS could not define the exact sequence of mutant alleles, in the other 16 cases the results obtained by SS were conventionally considered as deletions plus insertions. Different interpretative hypotheses for complex mutations are discussed. In 46 (43%) tumors deep NGS showed, for the first time to our knowledge, subpopulations of DNA molecules carrying EGFR deletions different from the main one. Each of these subpopulations accounted for 0.1% to 17% of the genomic DNA in the different tumors investigated. Our findings suggest that a region in exon 19 is highly unstable in a large proportion of patients carrying EGFR deletions. As a corollary to this study, NGS data were compared with those obtained by immunohistochemistry using the 6B6 anti-mutant EGFR antibody. The immunoreaction was E746-A750del specific. In conclusion, NGS analysis of EGFR exon 19 in NSCLCs allowed us to formulate a new interpretative hypothesis for complex mutations and revealed the presence of subpopulations of deletions with potential pathogenetic and clinical impact.

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Available from: Paolo Graziano
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    • "The frequencies of the deletion mutations were estimated by dividing the number of reads aligned to deletion-type sequences by the number of all reads aligned to exon 19 sequences with or without a deletion. Because incomplete matches with deletion-type template sequences were observed due to the diversity of deletions [28], we employed the deletion type with the maximum number of aligned reads for the estimation of mutation frequency. "
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    ABSTRACT: The detection of rare mutants using next generation sequencing has considerable potential for diagnostic applications. Detecting circulating tumor DNA is the foremost application of this approach. The major obstacle to its use is the high read error rate of next-generation sequencers. Rather than increasing the accuracy of final sequences, we detected rare mutations using a semiconductor sequencer and a set of anomaly detection criteria based on a statistical model of the read error rate at each error position. Statistical models were deduced from sequence data from normal samples. We detected epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in the plasma DNA of lung cancer patients. Single-pass deep sequencing (>100,000 reads) was able to detect one activating mutant allele in 10,000 normal alleles. We confirmed the method using 22 prospective and 155 retrospective samples, mostly consisting of DNA purified from plasma. A temporal analysis suggested potential applications for disease management and for therapeutic decision making to select epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "As routine testing for increasing numbers of mutations is likely in the future, the quality and availability of tissue samples could well become an issue [40]. One area that has seen an explosion in research in recent years is next-generation sequencing (NGS), which has the ability to fully sequence large numbers of genes in a single test (genome-wide analysis) with high sensitivity and at relatively low cost [41] [42]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in the management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) over the past 30 years have led to small increases in 5-year survival rates across Europe, though further improvements may require new treatment strategies. In order to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of development, future trials for new targeted agents in NSCLC should aim to recruit patients on the basis of tumour biology rather than clinical characteristics. However, identification of predictive biomarkers is required to maximise the benefits of new approaches and expedite the drug development process. Nevertheless, the NSCLC landscape is changing rapidly, and recent improvements in our understanding of the molecular biology of the disease will help in the identification of novel targeted agents as well as assisting in the development of personalised strategies for the numerous small subsets of defined NSCLC. Progress in imaging and treatment delivery is also likely to improve outcomes for patients with the disease. This article outlines recent progress in the treatment of NSCLC, identifies current challenges and describes proposals for improving the future management of the disease. It is hoped that implementation of some of these strategies will go some way to improving the outlook for patients with NSCLC.
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    • "It is uncommon to detect non-classical mutations and patients harbouring these mutations have variable responses to EGFR TKIs. Moreover, there were cases of complex mutations pattern whereby two or more concomitant sites of EGFR mutations co-exist within a single patient [13-15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Somatic mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are reportedly associated with various responses in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving the anti-EGFR agents. Detection of the mutation therefore plays an important role in therapeutic decision making. The aim of this study was to detect EGFR mutations in formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples using both Scorpion ARMS and high resolution melt (HRM) assay, and to compare the sensitivity of these methods. Results All of the mutations were found in adenocarcinoma, except one that was in squamous cell carcinoma. The mutation rate was 45.7% (221/484). Complex mutations were also observed, wherein 8 tumours carried 2 mutations and 1 tumour carried 3 mutations. Conclusions Both methods detected EGFR mutations in FFPE samples. HRM assays gave more EGFR positive results compared to Scorpion ARMS.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Biomedical Science
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