March 2022
Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Exceptionally High Rates of Molecular Driver Mutations in Never-Smokers With Lung Adenocarcinoma

Authors: Mack PC, Klein MI (co-first author), Ayers KL, Zhou X, Guin S, Fink M, Rossi M, Ai-Kateb H, O’Connell T, Hantash FM, Oh WK, Newman S, Schadt EE, Chen R (co-senior author), Hirsch FR.

Historically, high rates of actionable driver mutations have been reported in never-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma (ADC). In the era of modern, comprehensive cancer mutation sequencing, this relationship necessitates a more detailed analysis.

All Mount Sinai patients between January 1, 2015, and June 1, 2020, with a diagnosis of ADC of any stage with known smoking status who received genomic testing were included. Most patients were analyzed using the Sema4 hotspot panel or the Oncomine Comprehensive Assay version 3 next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel conducted at Sema4. Patients were considered fully genotyped if they were comprehensively analyzed for alterations in EGFR, KRAS, MET, ALK, RET, ROS1, BRAF, NTRK1-3, and ERBB2, otherwise they were considered partially genotyped.

Two hundred and thirty-six never-smokers and 671 smokers met the above criteria. Of the never-smokers, 201 (85%) had a driver mutation with 167 (71%) considered actionable (ie, those with US Food and Drug Administration-approved agents). Among smokers, 439 (65%) had an identified driver mutation with 258 (38%) actionable (P < .0001). When comprehensively sequenced, 95% (70/74) of never-smokers had a driver mutation with 78% (58/74) actionable; whereas, for smokers, 75% (135/180) had a driver with only 47% (74/180) actionable (P < .0001). Within mutations groups, EGFR G719X and KRAS G12Cs were more common to smokers. For stage IV patients harboring EGFR-mutant tumors treated with EGFR-directed therapies, never-smokers had significantly improved OS compared to smokers (hazard ratio = 2.71; P = .025). In multivariable analysis, Asian ancestry and female sex remained significant predictors of (1) OS in stage IV patients and (2) likelihood of harboring a receptor of fusion-based driver.

Comprehensive NGS revealed driver alterations in 95% of never-smokers, with the majority having an associated therapy available. All efforts should be exhausted to identify or rule out the presence of an actionable driver mutation in all metastatic lung ADC.

Read the paper here