Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

To investigate the clinical validity and utility of tests for detecting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene mutations in non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients, tumour DNA extracts from 532 patients previously tested by the cobas EGFR Mutation Test (RT-PCR test) were retested by the Sequenom/Agena Biosciences MassArray OncoFocus mass spectrometry test (MS test). Valid results from both tests were available from 470 patients (88%) for agreement analysis. Survival data were obtained for 513 patients (96%) and 77 patients (14%) were treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Agreement analysis revealed moderately high positive (79.8%), negative (96.9%) and overall percentage agreement (93.2%) for the detection of EGFR mutations. However, EGFR mutations were detected by one test and not by the other test in 32 patients (7%). Retesting of discordant samples revealed false-positive and false-negative results generated by both tests. Despite this, treatment and survival outcomes correlated with the results of the RT-PCR and MS tests. In conclusion, this study provides evidence of the clinical validity and utility of the RT-PCR and MS tests for detection of EGFR mutations that predict prognosis and benefit from EGFR-TKI treatment. However, their false-positive and false-negative test results may have important clinical consequences.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





101437 - 101451


Auckland Uniservices, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.