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BackgroundImmunohistochemistry (IHC) with mutation-specific antibodies may be an ancillary method of detecting EGFR mutations in lung cancer patients.MethodsEGFR mutation status was analyzed by DNA assays, and compared with IHC results in five non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and tumor samples from 78 stage IV NSCLC patients.ResultsIHC correctly identified del 19 in the H1650 and PC9 cell lines, L858R in H1975, and wild-type EGFR in H460 and A549, as well as wild-type EGFR in tumor samples from 22 patients. IHC with the mAb against EGFR with del 19 was highly positive for the protein in all 17 patients with a 15-bp (ELREA) deletion in exon 19, whereas in patients with other deletions, IHC was weakly positive in 3 cases and negative in 9 cases. IHC with the mAb against the L858R mutation showed high positivity for the protein in 25/27 (93%) patients with exon 21 EGFR mutations (all with L858R) but did not identify the L861Q mutation in the remaining two patients.ConclusionsIHC with mutation-specific mAbs against EGFR is a promising method for detecting EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients. However these mAbs should be validated with additional studies to clarify their possible role in routine clinical practice for screening EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of translational medicine

Publication Date





Pangaea Biotech, USP Dexeus University Institute, Barcelona, Spain.


Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Lung Neoplasms, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibodies, Neoplasm, Neoplasm Staging, Immunohistochemistry, DNA Mutational Analysis, Antibody Specificity, Sequence Deletion, Mutation, Exons, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, ErbB Receptors