High Resolution Melting Analysis for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutations in Formalin-fixed Paraffin-embedded Tissue and Plasma Free DNA from Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

  • Jing, Chang-Wen (Clinical Cancer Research Center, Jiangsu Cancer Hospical) ;
  • Wang, Zhuo (Clinical Cancer Research Center, Jiangsu Cancer Hospical) ;
  • Cao, Hai-Xia (Department of Epidemiology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospical) ;
  • Ma, Rong (Clinical Cancer Research Center, Jiangsu Cancer Hospical) ;
  • Wu, Jian-Zhong (Clinical Cancer Research Center, Jiangsu Cancer Hospical)
  • Published : 2013.11.30


Background:The aim of the research was to explore a cost effective, fast, easy to perform, and sensitive method for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation testing. Methods: High resolution melting analysis (HRM) was introduced to evaluate the efficacy of the analysis for dectecting EGFR mutations in exons 18 to 21 using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and plasma free DNA from 120 patients. Results: The total EGFR mutation rate was 37.5% (45/120) detected by direct sequencing. There were 48 mutations in 120 FFPE tissues assessed by HRM. For plasma free DNA, the EGFR mutation rate was 25.8% (31/120). The sensitivity of HRM assays in FFPE samples was 100% by HRM. There was a low false-positive mutation rate but a high false-negative rate in plasma free DNA detected by HRM. Conclusions: Our results show that HRM analysis has the advantage of small tumor sample need. HRM applied with plasma free DNA showed a high false-negative rate but a low false-positive rate. Further research into appropriate methods and analysis needs to be performed before HRM for plasma free DNA could be accepted as an option in diagnostic or screening settings.


EGFR mutation;high resolution melting analysis;plasma free DNA;non-small cell lung cancer


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