Clinical Research Papers:

HER2 mutations in Chinese patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Zhengbo Song, Xinmin Yu, Zhiyong Shi, Jun Zhao and Yiping Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:78152-78158. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11313

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Zhengbo Song1,2, Xinmin Yu1,2, Zhiyong Shi1,2, Jun Zhao1,2 and Yiping Zhang1,2

1 Department of Medical Oncology , Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China

2 Key Laboratory Diagnosis and Treatment Technology on Thoracic Oncology, Hangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Yiping Zhang, email:

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer, HER2 mutation, prevalence, genetic variability, treatment

Received: November 14, 2015 Accepted: July 27, 2016 Published: August 16, 2016


Background: ERBB2 (HER2) is a driver gene identified in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The prevalence, clinicopathology, genetic variability and treatment of HER2-positive NSCLC in Chinese population are unclear.

Patients and Methods: Eight hundred and fifty-nine patients with pathologically confirmed NSCLC were screened for HER2 mutations using Sanger sequencing. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed in positive cases. HER2 amplification was detected with FISH. Overall survival (OS) was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods and compared with log-rank tests.

Results: Twenty-one cases carrying HER2 mutations were identified with a prevalence of 2.4%. HER2 mutations were more frequently encountered in females, non-smokers and adenocarcinoma. NGS was performed in 19 out of 21 patients, The results showed 16 cases with additional genetic aberrations, most commonly associated with TP53 (n = 6), followed by EGFR (n = 3), NF1 (n = 3), KRAS (n = 2) and other mutations. One patient harbored HER2 amplification. Four patients with stage IV received afatinib treatment, and three showed stable disease with a median progression-free survival of 4 months and one patient was diagnosed with progressive disease.

Conclusion: HER2 mutations represent a distinct subset of NSCLC. NGS showed that HER2 mutations commonly co-existed with other driver genes. Afatinib treatment displayed moderate efficacy in patients with HER2 mutations.

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