J Clin Pathol doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2013-201502
  • Short report

Molecular determinations of EGFR and EML4-ALK on a single slide of NSCLC tissue

  1. Piero Candoli3
  1. 1Biosciences Laboratory, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST-IRCCS), Meldola, FC, Italy
  2. 2Pathology Unit, S. Maria delle Croci Hospital, Ravenna, Italy
  3. 3Pneumology Unit, Lugo Hospital, Lugo, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paola Ulivi, Biosciences Laboratory, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST-IRCCS), IRST- IRCCS, Via P. Maroncelli 40, Meldola, FC 47014, Italy; p.ulivi{at}
  • Received 25 January 2013
  • Accepted 18 February 2013
  • Published Online First 26 March 2013


Introduction Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and anti-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) agents are highly effective for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbouring specific alterations, and molecular characterisation of the tumour is needed even when limited tumour material is available.

Methods 20 patients with a known epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene status were enrolled: 10 had mutated and 10 had wild type tumours. FISH analysis was performed on one cytological or histological sample to determine EML4-ALK status, after which the same cells scraped off each slide were used to evaluate the EGFR status.

Results In the 10 EGFR mutated patients, molecular analysis showed the same results as those obtained before the FISH test. One patient with an EGFR mutation also showed an EML4-ALK translocation, and both FISH-positive and FISH-negative cells maintained the EGFR mutation.

Conclusions EGFR mutation analysis can be performed on the same sample previously submitted to the EML4-ALK FISH procedure.

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