Here, we report that novel epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene fusions comprising the N-terminal of EGFR linked to various fusion partners, most commonly RAD51, are recurrent in lung cancer. We describe five patients with metastatic lung cancer whose tumors harbored EGFR fusions, four of whom were treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) with documented antitumor responses. In vitro, EGFR–RAD51 fusions are oncogenic and can be therapeutically targeted with available EGFR TKIs and therapeutic antibodies. These results support the dependence of EGFR-rearranged tumors on EGFR-mediated signaling and suggest several therapeutic strategies for patients whose tumors harbor this novel alteration.
SIGNIFICANCE: We report for the first time the identification and therapeutic targeting of EGFR C-terminal fusions in patients with lung cancer and document responses to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib in 4 patients whose tumors harbored EGFR fusions. Findings from these studies will be immediately translatable to the clinic, as there are already several approved EGFR inhibitors. Cancer Discov; 6(6); 1–11. ©2016 AACR.
See related commentary by Paik, p. 574.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Discovery Online (http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received January 16, 2016.
- Revision received April 13, 2016.
- Accepted April 13, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.