Identifying EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer

IRESSA (gefitinib) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR‐TK).1

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are present in the tumours of approximately 30–41% of Asian and 10–17% of Western patients with NSCLC.2–9

EGFR mutations are more common in:2,10–15

  • never-smokers
  • patients with adenocarcinoma histology
  • females
  • Asian patients.

In patients with advanced NSCLC, EGFR mutation testing can help physicians to select the most appropriate treatment for each patient. A patient‘s EGFR mutation status (positive or negative) can be confirmed via a diagnostic test using a sample of tumour tissue. A number of testing methods are now available that offer a more sensitive alternative to direct DNA sequencing, including targeted techniques that specifically detect the most common EGFR mutations.16 When considering the use of IRESSA treatment, if a tumour sample is not evaluable for EGFR testing, then circulating tumour DNA obtained from a blood (plasma) sample may be used.1

For further information about EGFR mutation diagnostic testing and how to do it, please visit www.EGFR‐


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