Background: Recent studies evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis in the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations from plasma of NSCLC patients, overall showing a high concordance as compared to standard tissue genotyping. However it is less clear if the location of metastatic site may influence the ability to identify EGFR mutations.
Objective: This pooled analysis aims to evaluate the association between the metastatic site location and the sensitivity of ctDNA analysis in detecting EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients.
Methods: Data from all published studies, evaluating the sensitivity of plasma-based EGFRmutation testing, stratified by metastatic site location (extrathoracic (M1b) vs intrathoracic (M1a)) were collected by searching in PubMed, Cochrane Library, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and World Conference of Lung Cancer, meeting proceedings. Pooled Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated for the ctDNA analysis sensitivity, according to metastatic site location.
Results: A total of ten studies, with 1425 patients, were eligible. Pooled analysis showed that the sensitivity of ctDNA-based EGFR-mutation testing is significantly higher in patients with M1b vs M1a disease (OR: 5.09; 95% CIs: 2.93 – 8.84). A significant association was observed for both EGFR-activating (OR: 4.30, 95% CI: 2.35-7.88) and resistant T790M mutations (OR: 11.89, 95% CI: 1.45-97.22), regardless of the use of digital-PCR (OR: 5.85, 95% CI: 3.56-9.60) or non-digital PCR technologies (OR: 2.96, 95% CI: 2.24-3.91).
Conclusions: These data suggest that the location of metastatic sites significantly influences the diagnostic accuracy of ctDNA analysis in detecting EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients.