Background and Objectives: Recent studies have disclosed the presence of somatic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC), and susceptibility to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (gefitinib) was determined by the presence of mutations in the kinase domain of this gene. We thus predicted a clinical benefit of gefitinib against the 12% of primary colorectal cancers exhibiting a mutation reflective of this potential distinctive susceptibility. Patients and Methods: The mutation status of the kinase domain in EGFR in different primary cancers has important clinical consequences, because the presence of a mutation is recognized as a reliable indicator for the effectiveness of gefitinib administration. In the current study, we investigated the presence of somatic mutations in exons 18-21 coding the ATP-binding domain in five gastric cancer cell lines and 39 primary gastric cancers and their corresponding normal tissues. Results and Conclusions: The kinase domain of EGFR is highly conserved in whole gastric cancer cell lines and cases, therefore treatment with gefitinib is unfortunately not recommended for such malignancy.
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