Targetable Genomic Alterations Likely in Younger Patients With Lung Adenocarcinoma

Researchers sought to determine the incidence of targetable genomic cancers in patients younger with lung adenocarcinoma.

Researchers identified a high rate of targetable genomic alterations in patients younger than 40 years with lung adenocarcinoma. These study results were published in JTO Clinical and Research Reports.

“This study is the first prospective, multi-center, web-based investigation of the genomics of young patients with lung cancer,” the researchers explained in their report.

In this prospective study, patients with lung carcinoma who were younger than 40 years were recruited from a combination of global sites and a web-based platform. Genotyping data were analyzed from these patients, from existing information or from next-generation sequencing that was performed if required. The primary objective was to assess whether patients younger than 40 with lung carcinoma have a higher prevalence of targetable alterations than is seen in the total lung cancer population.

A total of 133 patients were evaluated, with 41% having been enrolled through the web-based system. Mean patient age was 34±5.2 years at diagnosis, and most patients (79%) had stage IV disease. A total of 115 of the patients (86%) had adenocarcinoma, of whom 112 had prior genomic testing conducted. Targetable alterations associated with ALK, EGFR, ROS1, RET, ERBB2, or MET genes were found in 77% of patients who had undergone prior genomic testing. ALK rearrangements and EGFR mutations were the most commonly detected alterations.

Some patients without detected targetable alterations underwent further testing, and a targetable alteration was found in 57% of these cases. Ultimately, researchers identified targetable genomic alterations in a total of 94 patients with adenocarcinoma (84%) who underwent genomic testing.

“The results of our study highlight the need to prioritize comprehensive genomic testing, as targeted treatment increases patient survival,” they concluded in their report.


Gitlitz BJ, Novello S, Vavalà T, et al. The genomics of young lung cancer: comprehensive tissue genomic analysis in patients under 40 with lung cancer. JTO Clin Res Rep. Published online May 22, 2021. doi:10.1016/j.jtocrr.2021.100194

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor