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Driver oncogenes in Sub-Saharan African patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Authors Legius B, Van Den Broecke S, Muylle I, Ninane V

Received 8 July 2016

Accepted for publication 12 September 2016

Published 30 November 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 149—152


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Pan-Chyr Yang

Barbara Legius,1 Sandra Van Den Broecke,1 Inge Muylle,1 Vincent Ninane1,2

1Department of Pulmonology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint Pierre, 2Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: Non-small cell lung cancer can exhibit driver oncogenes, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), that are possible targets for therapy. The prevalence of these rearranged driver oncogenes is influenced by race, smoking habits, and gender. Most data come from Caucasian and Asian populations. To our knowledge, there is no literature available about the prevalence of driver oncogenes in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the tobacco epidemic is still in the early stage. In this small case series, 6 patients of Sub-Saharan African ethnicity with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma are described. EGFR mutation was present in 3/6 patients and ALK rearrangement in 1/6 patients. This incidence seems high but interestingly, all patients were non-smokers or light smokers. In this series, the high prevalence of driver oncogene was probably related to low smoking habits and these initial data in Sub-Saharan Africans suggest high prevalence of driver mutations for this reason.

Keywords: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation, Africa, lung adenocarcinoma

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