Several studies revealed that non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) frequently express ER, PR, HER2 and carry BRCA mutation. However, these markers in histological subtypes of lung adenocarcinoma have not been thoroughly investigated. We retrospectively evaluated a total of 640 lung adenocarcinoma samples for ERα, ERβ, PR and HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry and western-blotting, for EGFR and BRCA mutation by real-time PCR and sequencing. Furthermore, HER2 amplification and mutation were explored in samples harboring immunopositivity HER2 using fluorescence in situ hybridization and real-time PCR, respectively. The micropapillary and invasive mucinous predominant adenocarcinoma were frequently detected the higher level of cytoplasmic ERβ (64.9% and 56.6%), HER2 (68.1% and 60.1%) protein expression. But, amplification of HER2 was detected in only three cases (3/110, 2.7%) and 26 HER2 mutations in 110 cases were identified (23.6%) in the HER2 immunopositivity patients. Logistic regression analysis showed that cytoplasmic ERβ (P = 0.032) and HER2 (P = 0.015) expression were independently associated with EGFR mutation. 8 patients (8/640, 1.25%) harbored pathogenic BRCA mutations, 6 with germline BRCA mutations and 2 with somatic BRCA1 mutations were detected with lacking ERβ, PR and HER2 expression. Acinar predominant adenocarcinoma had the higher percentage of BRCA mutations than other subtypes. A systematic examination of ERβ, HER2 and BRCA biomarkers could potentially be useful to diagnosis and identify patients with the histological subtypes of lung adenocarcinoma, who might benefit from the further individualized treatment of anti-hormone, anti-HER2 and/or PARP inhibitors therapeutics.
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