Superior Treatment Response and In-field Tumor Control in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-mutant Genotype of Stage III Nonsquamous Non–Small cell Lung Cancer Undergoing Definitive Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy

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We conducted a comparative outcome analysis to evaluate the differential radioresponse and survival outcomes in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant and wild-type nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer undergoing definitive chemoradiotherapy. With more favorable metabolic activity, the EGFR-mutant group showed significantly better post-chemoradiation response and superior tumor control inside the radiation field. Our results underline the need of precise therapeutic strategy based on the EGFR mutational status.


Although previous in vitro data have suggested a more radio-sensitive nature of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, the clinical behavior according to the EGFR mutational status has not been well-established. In this study, we performed a comparative outcome analysis of EGFR-mutant and wild-type locally advanced NSCLC with chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Patients and Methods:

A total of 102 patients with stage III nonsquamous NSCLC undergoing primary CRT were identified. Clinicopathologic characteristics, including the degree of glucose uptake, were evaluated. Failure patterns considering the radiation field and survival outcomes were compared according to the EGFR mutational status.


Pre- and post-CRT maximum standardized uptake values were significantly lower in EGFR-mutant tumors (P = .010 and .018, respectively). The overall response rate was higher in the EGFR-mutant group compared with the wild-type (89% vs. 64%, respectively; P = .023). The 3-year overall survival rate was better with the genetic alteration (68.0% vs. 47.4%, P = .046), but the statistical significance did not remain in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-1.55). Considering the tumor progression inside or outside the radiation field, the EGFR-mutant group showed longer in-field time to progression (P = .002), even after adjusting for other related baseline variables (hazard ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.71).


The differential metabolic activity, failure patterns, and prognosis suggest the distinct nature of the EGFR-mutant tumors. EGFR mutational status needs to be considered for more precise curative-intent treatment strategies of locally advanced nonsquamous NSCLC.

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