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EGFR mutations detection on liquid-based cytology: is microscopy still necessary?
  1. Umberto Malapelle1,
  2. Nicla de Rosa2,
  3. Claudio Bellevicine1,
  4. Danilo Rocco2,
  5. Fabiana Vitiello2,
  6. Franco Vito Piantedosi2,
  7. Alfonso Illiano2,
  8. Oscar Nappi3,
  9. Giancarlo Troncone1,4
  1. 1Dipartimento di Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali, Università di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
  2. 2AORN Vincenzo Monaldi, Naples, Italy
  3. 3AO Antonio Cardarelli, Naples, Italy
  4. 4CEINGE–Biotecnologie Avanzate, Naples, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Giancarlo Troncone, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Sergio Pansini 5, Napoli I-80131, Italy; giancarlo.troncone{at}


Currently, there is a trend towards an increasing use of liquid-based cytology (LBC) to diagnose non–small cell lung cancer. In this study, to detect epidermal growth factor receptor mutations, different molecular techniques were applied to LBC samples with and without laser capture microdissection (LCM). In 58 LBCs, DNA was extracted twice. One sample was obtained directly from CytoLyt solution, whereas the other DNA sample was derived after slide preparation and LCM of Papanicolaou-stained cells. The rate of mutant cases obtained by direct sequencing was discordant between CytoLyt-derived (10.3%) and LCM-derived (17.2%) DNA. However, the same mutant rate (17.2%) was achieved on the matched samples by high-resolution melting analysis, fragment and TaqMan assays. Thus, LCM and direct sequencing may be replaced by more sensitive non-sequencing methods directly performed on CytoLyt-derived DNA, an easier and faster approach to improve epidermal growth factor receptor testing standardisation on LBCs.

  • Cancer research
  • cytology
  • molecular pathology
  • lung
  • molecular oncology
  • thyroid cancer
  • morbid anatomy
  • lung cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • thyroid

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  • Funding This work was partially supported by Astrazeneca (grant number ISSIRES0025).

  • Competing interest None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Comitato Etico per le attività biomediche “Carlo Romano” n. study 185/10.

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