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Identification of EGFR and KRAS mutations in Chinese patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma


  • Author contribution: Conception and design: J.-H. Fu, Q.-W. Liu; collection and assembly of data: Q.-W. Liu, K.-J. Luo, H.-X. Yang, J.-Y. Wang; data analysis and interpretation: Q.-W. Liu, J.-H. Fu, K.-J. Luo, H.-X. Yang, J.-Y. Wang, Y. Hu, H. Yang; manuscript writing: Q.-W. Liu, J.-H. Fu, E. Bella.

Professor J-H. Fu, MD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China. Email:


The prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is poor. It is urgent to improve this situation. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapy possesses a promising clinical efficacy. Mutations of EGFR and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) have been identified in esophageal carcinoma, but corresponding Chinese data are limited. So we investigated the mutation status of EGFR and KRAS in Chinese patients with ESCC, and explored their correlations with clinicopathological features. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgically resected tumor samples were obtained from 50 randomly selected Chinese patients with ESCC. EGFR mutations in exons 18–21 were detected by Scorpions amplification refractory mutation system technology. KRAS mutations in codons 12, 13 were detected by direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products. The correlations between clinicopathological features and the mutation status of EGFR and KRAS were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. In the present study, EGFR mutations were found in 7 (14%) out of 50 patients, including G719X missense mutation (n= 1), in-frame deletion (n= 2), and L858R missense mutation (n= 5). Six (12%) out of 50 patients had KRAS mutations in codon 12. Concurrent EGFR and KRAS mutations were detected in one sample. The presences of EGFR and KRAS mutations were not associated with gender, age, smoking history, cell differentiation, or cancer stage. In conclusion, the incidence of EGFR mutations in Chinese patients with ESCC was higher than that of previous reports, and the incidence of KRAS mutations was not low. EGFR and KRAS mutations were mainly located in exons 19 and 21 and codon 12, respectively. Unlike in NSCLC, concurrent EGFR and KRAS mutations existed.