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Humoral immune responses to EGFR-derived peptides predict progression-free and overall survival of non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving gefitinib



Humoral immune responses to EGFR-derived peptides predict progression-free and overall survival of non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving gefitinib



Plos One 9(1): E86667



Somatic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are associated with clinical response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as gefitinib, in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, humoral immune responses to EGFR in NSCLC patients have not been well studied. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance of immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses to EGFR-derived peptides in NSCLC patients receiving gefitinib. Plasma IgG titers to each of 60 different EGFR-derived 20-mer peptides were measured by the Luminex system in 42 NSCLC patients receiving gefitinib therapy. The relationships between the peptide-specific IgG titers and presence of EGFR mutations or patient survival were evaluated statistically. IgG titers against the egfr_481-500, egfr_721-740, and egfr_741-760 peptides were significantly higher in patients with exon 21 mutation than in those without it. On the other hand, IgG titers against the egfr_841-860 and egfr_1001-1020 peptides were significantly lower and higher, respectively, in patients with deletion in exon 19. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that IgG responses to egfr_41_ 60, egfr_61_80 and egfr_481_500 were significantly prognostic for progression-free survival independent of other clinicopathological characteristics, whereas those to the egfr_41_60 and egfr_481_500 peptides were significantly prognostic for overall survival. Detection of IgG responses to EGFR-derived peptides may be a promising method for prognostication of NSCLC patients receiving gefitinib. Our results may provide new insight for better understanding of humoral responses to EGFR in NSCLC patients.

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Accession: 053615919

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PMID: 24497964

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086667


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