Scientific article
Open access

The impact of variant allele frequency in EGFR mutated NSCLCc patients on targeted therapy

Published inFrontiers in Oncology, vol. 11, 644472
Publication date2021

EGFR mutations represent the most common currently targetable oncogenic driver in non-small cell lung cancer. There has been tremendous progress in targeting this alteration over the course of the last decade, and third generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors offer previously unseen survival rates among these patients. Nonetheless, a better understanding is still needed, as roughly a third of patients do not respond to targeted therapy and there is an important heterogeneity among responders. Allelic frequency, or the variant EGFR allele frequency, corresponds to the fraction of sequencing reads harboring the mutation. The allelic fraction is influenced by the proportion of tumor cells in the sample, the presence of copy number alterations but also, most importantly, by the proportion of cells within the tumor that carry the mutation. Mutations that occur early in tumor evolution, often called clonal or truncal, have a higher allelic frequency than late, subclonal mutations, and are more often drivers of cancer evolution and attractive therapeutic targets. Most, but not all, EGFR mutations are clonal. Although an exact estimate of clonal proportion is hard to derive computationally, the allelic frequency is readily available to clinicians and could be a useful surrogate. We hypothesized that tumors with low allelic frequency of the EGFR mutation will respond less favorably to targeted treatment.

Citation (ISO format)
FRIEDLAENDER, Alex et al. The impact of variant allele frequency in EGFR mutated NSCLCc patients on targeted therapy. In: Frontiers in Oncology, 2021, vol. 11, p. 644472. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.644472
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2234-943X

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