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EGFR and KRAS mutations detection on lung cancer liquid-based cytology: a pilot study
  1. Umberto Malapelle1,
  2. Nicla de Rosa2,
  3. Danilo Rocco2,
  4. Claudio Bellevicine1,
  5. Carlo Crispino2,
  6. Alfonso Illiano2,
  7. Franco Vito Piantedosi2,
  8. Oscar Nappi3,
  9. Giancarlo Troncone1
  1. 1Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy
  2. 2AORN Vincenzo Mondaldi, Naples, Italy
  3. 3AO Antonio Cardarelli, Napoli, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Giancarlo Troncone, Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali, University of Naples Federico II, via Sergio Pansini 5, Napoli 80128, Italy; giancarlo.troncone{at}


In advanced non-small-cell lung carcinomas epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS testing is often performed on cytology. Liquid-based cytology (LBC), which eliminates the need for slide preparation by clinicians, may be very useful. In 42 LBC DNA was extracted twice. One sample was obtained directly from CytoLyt solution, whereas the other DNA sample was derived after smear preparation and laser capture microdissection (LCM) of Papanicolaou-stained cells. EGFR and KRAS mutational analyses were performed by direct sequencing. On CytoLyt-derived DNA four EGFR (9%) and five KRAS (12%) gene mutations were found. When direct sequencing was performed after LCM, the rate of cases that displayed either EGFR or KRAS mutations increased from 21% to 40%. Although time-consuming, LCM makes direct sequencing highly sensitive even on LBC preparations containing only a few cells.

  • Cancer research
  • colorectal cancer
  • cytology
  • gall bladder
  • lung
  • molecular pathology
  • oncogenes
  • pancreas
  • p53
  • thyroid

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  • Funding This work was supported by Astrazeneca, grant no ISSIRES0025.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol was approved (protocol 185/10) by the University of Napoli Federico II ‘Carlo Romano’ Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.