, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 1-10
Date: 20 Oct 2012

EGFR mutation status in brain metastases of non-small cell lung carcinoma

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Brain metastases are a frequent and grave complication of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The prognosis is generally poor, despite standard therapy based on surgery and radiotherapy. A degree of understanding of the molecular basis of tumors has led to the development of targeted agents with promising initial findings for the treatment of NSCLC. EGFR mutations have been identified which are associated with significant sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and correlate with improved outcome in patients with NSCLC who are treated with these agents. The adoption of treatment tailored to the genetic make-up of individual tumors could lead to substantial therapeutic improvements, and such targeted therapy might be considered as a therapeutic option for brain metastases in the future. We review current knowledge about EGFR mutation status in the specific context of brain metastasis: its association with the response of brain metastases to TKI, its prevalence in brain metastases, and the correlation between mutation status in metastases as compared to the corresponding primary lung carcinoma.