Incorporation of EGFR mutation status into M descriptor of new TNM classification influences survival curves in non-small cell lung cancer patients
Background. The 8th edition of tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging system for lung cancer introduced a revision of M descriptor. The limitation of new classification to predict prognosis is its focus on anatomical extent of the disease only. Information on molecular status of the tumor significantly influences treatment response and survival; however, data addressing this issue is scarce. This report points to the impact of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients on survival in view of new M descriptors of TNM classification system.
Patients and methods. Medical records of 479 consecutive metastatic NSCLC patients treated between 2009 and 2011, all tested for EGFR mutations, were retrospectively reviewed. For 355 patients medical records included sufficient information to be appropriately categorized into one of the new subgroups according to the M descriptor in 8th TNM classification, of those 89 (25.1 %) patients harboured EGFR mutations (EGFR-m).
Results. Median overall survival (mOS) of EGFR-m patients was significantly longer than mOS of patients without EGFR mutations (20.6 months vs. 8.3 months, p<0.001). Patients with limited disease burden (M1b sub-group) had the longest mOS among EGFR wild type patients (EGFR-wt) and also among EGFR-m patients, 14.4 months and 39.2 month, respectively. In spite of widespread metastatic disease of M1c EGFR-m patients, their mOS (18.8 months) was longer than mOS of oligometastatic EGFR-wt patients (M1b) who had the lowest disease burden (14.4 months). Median follow up was 53.9 months.
Conclusions. Incorporation of EGFR mutation status in advanced NSCLC further differentiates survival curves of M categories in 8th TNM classification and more precisely predicts survival compared to number of metastasis or number of metastatic sites alone.