BACKGROUND: Common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) predict sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), with exon 19 deletions being associated with better outcome compared to L858R mutations. We aimed to investigate the impact of different exon 19 deletions on patient outcome in EGFR-mutant NSCLC treated with first-line TKIs.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this retrospective analysis, 106 patients with metastatic NSCLC harboring EGFR exon 19 deletions and treated with first-line TKIs were included. The primary end point was overall survival (OS), the secondary end point progression-free survival (PFS). Analyses were performed by grouping exon 19 deletions according to 2 models: we compared different type of deletion (delE746_A750 vs. deletions other than delE746-A750, defined as "uncommon") or different starting codon of deletion (E746 vs. L747).
RESULTS: The frequency of uncommon deletions of exon 19 was 36%. When delE746_A750 (n = 68) was compared to the other deletions in exon 19 (n = 38), no differences were found, either in terms of OS (P = .65) or PFS (P = .65). Similarly, no difference in OS (P = .74) or PFS (P = .99) emerged when comparing the E746 group (n = 81) to the L747 group (n = 25). On multivariate analysis including clinical characteristics and type of deletions (delE746_A750 vs. uncommon deletions or E746 vs. L747), only the presence of brain metastases at diagnosis or during TKI treatment was associated with shorter PFS but not with worse OS.
CONCLUSION: Different exon 19 deletions are equally sensitive to first-line EGFR-TKIs in EGFR-mutant NSCLC.