Lung cancer mutation testing: a clinical retesting study of agreement between a real-time PCR and a mass spectrometry test
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Phillip Shepherd1, Karen L. Sheath2, Sandar Tin Tin3, Prashannata Khwaounjoo4, Phyu S. Aye3, Angie Li4,5, George R. Laking5, Nicola J. Kingston6, Christopher A. Lewis7, J. Mark Elwood3, Donald R. Love2 and Mark J. McKeage4,5
1Auckland Uniservices, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2Diagnostic Genetics, LabPlus, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland 1148, New Zealand
3School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
4Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology and Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
5Blood and Cancer Services, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland 1148, New Zealand
6Anatomical Pathology, LabPlus, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland 1148, New Zealand
7Respiratory Medicine, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland 1148, New Zealand
Mark J. McKeage, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: agreement analysis; epidermal growth factor receptor; lung cancer; mutation testing; targeted therapy
Received: July 23, 2017 Accepted: August 15, 2017 Published: September 16, 2017
To investigate the clinical validity and utility of tests for detecting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene mutations in non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients, tumour DNA extracts from 532 patients previously tested by the cobas EGFR Mutation Test (RT-PCR test) were retested by the Sequenom/Agena Biosciences MassArray OncoFocus mass spectrometry test (MS test). Valid results from both tests were available from 470 patients (88%) for agreement analysis. Survival data were obtained for 513 patients (96%) and 77 patients (14%) were treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Agreement analysis revealed moderately high positive (79.8%), negative (96.9%) and overall percentage agreement (93.2%) for the detection of EGFR mutations. However, EGFR mutations were detected by one test and not by the other test in 32 patients (7%). Retesting of discordant samples revealed false-positive and false-negative results generated by both tests. Despite this, treatment and survival outcomes correlated with the results of the RT-PCR and MS tests. In conclusion, this study provides evidence of the clinical validity and utility of the RT-PCR and MS tests for detection of EGFR mutations that predict prognosis and benefit from EGFR-TKI treatment. However, their false-positive and false-negative test results may have important clinical consequences.
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