How common are endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
  • Print

Rosell et al evaluated the feasibility of large-scale screening for EGFR mutations in patients with advanced NSCLC. EGFR mutations were found in 350 of 2105 patients (16.6%). Mutations were found more frequently in women (69.7%), patients who had never smoked (66.6%), and those with adenocarcinomas (80.9%). These researchers concluded that large-scale screening of patients with lung cancer for EGFR mutations is feasible and can have a role in decisions about treatment. [146]

The NCCN guidelines note that EGFR mutations are present in adenocarcinomas in approximately 10% of Western patients and up to 50% of Asian patients, and that the EGFR mutation frequency is higher in nonsmokers, women, and patients with non-mucinous cancers. In squamous cell carcinomas, however, the observed incidence of EGFR mutations is 2.7% and the true incidence can be confidently posited as less than 3.6%—too low to justify routine testing of all tumor specimens. [91]

EGFR-directed therapies are described below, in the order of their FDA approval.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!