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Detection of EML4-ALK fusion gene and features associated with EGFR mutations in Chinese patients with non-small-cell lung cancer

Authors Wen M, Wang X, Sun Y, Xia J, Fan L, Xing H, zhang Z, Li X

Received 11 November 2015

Accepted for publication 21 January 2016

Published 5 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1989—1995


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Jianmin Xu

Miaomiao Wen, Xuejiao Wang, Ying Sun, Jinghua Xia, Liangbo Fan, Hao Xing, Zhipei Zhang, Xiaofei Li

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4–anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) define specific molecular subsets of lung cancer with distinct clinical features. We aimed at revealing the clinical features of EML4-ALK fusion gene and EGFR mutation in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: We enrolled 694 Chinese patients with NSCLC for analysis. EML4-ALK fusion gene was analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and EGFR mutations were analyzed by amplified refractory mutation system.
Results: Among the 694 patients, 60 (8.65%) patients had EML4-ALK fusions. In continuity correction χ2 test analysis, EML4-ALK fusion gene was correlated with sex, age, smoking status, and histology, but no significant association was observed between EML4-ALK fusion gene and clinical stage. A total of 147 (21.18%) patients had EGFR mutations. In concordance with previous reports, EGFR mutation was correlated with age, smoking status, histology, and clinical stage, whereas patient age was not significantly associated with EGFR mutation. Meanwhile, to our surprise, six (0.86%) patients had coexisting EML4-ALK fusions and EGFR mutations.
Conclusion: EML4-ALK fusion gene defines a new molecular subset in patients with NSCLC. Six patients who harbored both EML4-ALK fusion genes and EGFR mutations were identified in our study. The EGFR mutations and the EML4-ALK fusion genes are coexistent.

Keywords: NSCLC, EML4-ALK fusion gene, EGFR mutation, RT-PCR

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