Outcomes of Pemetrexed-based chemotherapies in HER2-mutant lung cancers

Yan Wang, Shijia Zhang, Fengying Wu, Jing Zhao, Xuefei Li, Chao Zhao, Shengxiang Ren, Caicun Zhou

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45 Scopus citations


Background: HER2 mutation has been found to be an oncogenic driver gene in non-small cell lung cancers(NSCLC) and HER2-directed therapies have shown promising results in this unique population, while little is known about its association with outcomes of chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of first line chemotherapy in patients with advanced HER2-mutant lung adenocarcinomas. Methods: Patients with advanced NSCLC(N = 1714) initially underwent testing for EGFR, KRAS, BRAF mutations and ALK, ROS1 rearrangements, and negative cases were then assessed for HER2 mutations using the method of amplification refractory mutation system(ARMS). The efficacy of first line pemetrexed-based chemotherapy was investigated in patients with HER2-mutant and those with EGFR-mutant, ALK/ROS1-rearranged and KRAS-mutant advanced adenocarcinomas. Results: HER2 mutations were detected in 29 of 572(5.1%) specimens from a selected population of EGFR/KRAS/BRAF/ALK/ROS1 negative patients. All of them are adenocarcinomas. Among patients with HER2-mutant lung cancers, 25 received pemetrexed-based first line chemotherapy. The objective response rate(ORR) was 36.0%. Their median progression free survival(PFS) was 5.1 months, which was similar with that of KRAS-mutant group (n = 40,5.0 months, p = 0.971), numerically shorter than that of EGFR-mutant group(n = 74, 6.5 months, p = 0.247) and statistically significantly shorter than that of ALK/ROS1-rearranged group (n = 39,9.2 months, p = 0.004). Furthermore, HER2 variants subgroup analysis showed that PFS was inferior in A775_G776insYVMA group compared with other variants (4.2 vs 7.2 months, p = 0.085). Conclusions: Patients with advanced HER2-mutant lung adenocarcinomas showed an inferior outcome of first line pemetrexed-based chemotherapy compared to those with ALK/ROS1 rearrangements, which strengthen the need for effective HER2-targeted drugs in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number326
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 27 2018

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • HER2 mutation
  • Lung adenocarcinoma
  • Pemetrexed


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