Recent reports have noted the presence of novel mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in small samples of DNA extracted from paraffin-embedded sections or laser-microdissected specimens.1,2 Nagahara et al.1 reported EGFR mutations in colon carcinomas. These mutations were novel G→A or A→G transitions. Similarly, Tsao et al. (July 14 issue)2 report that 24 (53 percent) of the mutations they found in specimens of non–small-cell lung cancers were novel variant mutations; 22 (92 percent) of these mutations were C→T/G→A or A→G/T→C transitions. These mutations had not been reported previously in more than 2000 analyses for EGFR mutations performed on DNA extracted from pieces of frozen tumors.
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