Growth factor receptors (GFRs) are amenable to therapeutic intervention in cancer and it is important to select patients appropriately.
One of the mechanisms for activation of GFRs is gene amplification (GA) but discrepancies arising from the difficulties associated with data interpretation and the lack of agreed parameters confound the comparison of results from different laboratories. Here, we attempt to establish appropriate conditions for standardization of the determination of GA in a panel of GFRs. A NSCLC tissue microarray panel containing 302 samples was screened for alterations at ALK,
FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, ERBB2, IGF1R, KIT, MET and PDGFRA by FISH, immunostaining and/or real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Strong amplification was found for FGFR1, ERBB2, KIT/PDFGRA and MET, with frequencies ranging from 1 to
6%. Thresholds for overexpression and GA were established. Strong immunostaining was found in most tumors with ERBB2, MET and KIT amplification, although some tumors underwent strong immunostaining in the absence of GA. KIT and PDFGRA were always co-amplified, but only one tumor showed PDGFRA overexpression, indicating that KIT is the main target.
Amplification of FGFR1 predominated in squamous cell carcinomas, although the association with overexpression was inconclusive. Interestingly, alterations at ALK,
MET, EGFR, ERBB2 and KRAS correlated with augmented levels of phospho-S6 protein, suggesting activation of the mTOR pathway, which may prove useful to pre-select tumors for testing.
Overall, here, we provide with parameters for the determination of GA at ERBB2, MET, KIT, and PDGFRA which could be implemented in the clinic to stratify lung cancer patients for specific treatments.
Citation Format: Eva Pros, Sylvie Lantuejoul, Lydia Sanchez-Verde, Sandra D. Castillo, Ana Suarez-Gauthier, Esther Conde, Juan C. Cigudosa, Fernando Lopez-Rios, Juan Torres-Lanzas, Josep Castellví, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Elisabeth Brambilla, Montse Sanchez-Cespedes. Determining the profiles and parameters for gene amplification testing of growth factor receptors in lung cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 3034. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-3034