Epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and pathologic-radiologic correlation between multiple lung nodules with ground-glass opacity differentiates multicentric origin from intrapulmonary spread.

Research paper by Jin-Haeng JH Chung, Gheeyoung G Choe, Sanghoon S Jheon, Sook-Whan SW Sung, Tae Jung TJ Kim, Kyung Won KW Lee, Jae Ho JH Lee, Choon-Taek CT Lee

Indexed on: 22 Oct '09Published on: 22 Oct '09Published in: Journal of Thoracic Oncology


No standard guidelines detailing recommendations for the selection and treatment for multiple lung nodules with ground-glass opacity (GGO) have been established. For treatment decision, we analyzed epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/K-ras somatic aberrations and pathologic-radiologic correlation in multiple lung nodules presented as GGO to differentiate multifocal lesions from intrapulmonary spread.Twenty-four patients with multiple lung nodules presented as GGO were identified to investigate somatic mutations of EGFR (exon 18-21) and K-ras (codons 2, 13, and 61). This series included 18 atypical adenomatous hyperplasias (AAH), 15 bronchioloalveolar carcinomas (BAC), and 23 adenocarcinomas (ADC) obtained from 24 patients.High frequency of discordant EGFR mutations (17 of 24, 70.8%) could discriminate tumor clonality (18 of 24, 75%) of multiple lung neoplastic nodules presented as GGO. EGFR mutations were common in AAH (38.9%), BAC (46.7%), and ADC (39.1%). In case 4, AAH and BAC had different mutational changes, and in case 10, the BAC lesion contains EGFR mutation that is not in the invasive ADC. In case 17, the BAC had more mutational changes than the carcinoma. The pure GGO appearance in the radiologic examination corresponded preinvasive pathologic change.This study showed that synchronous BAC and/or ADC can have different EGFR or K-ras mutational profiles suggesting these lesions arise as independent events rather than intrapulmonary spread or systemic metastasis. This has significant implication in staging and treatment. These findings might be a clue to establish guidelines of the multiple neoplastic lung nodules with GGO.