Utilization of cell-transferred cytologic smears in detection of EGFR and KRAS mutation on adenocarcinoma of lung

Howard H. Wu, Joseph P. Eaton, Kelly J. Jones, Harvey M. Cramer, Melissa L. Randolph, Kristin M. Post, Amanda Malek, Sarah Bilbo, Joyashree D. Sen, Shaoxiong Chen, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Cell-transfer technique has been proven useful for performing immunocytochemistry on fine-needle aspiration smears. However, its utility for EGFR and KRAS molecular testing has not been validated. Molecular testing was performed using the cell-transfer technique on both Papanicolaou-stained ethanol-fixed and Hema 3-stained air-dried smears from 32 fine-needle aspiration samples that had diagnoses of adenocarcinoma of the lung, and then was compared to the results of the corresponding formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. The molecular testing was successfully performed on 32 of 32 ethanol-fixed and 31 of 32 air-dried samples. The molecular results on ethanol-fixed and air-dried smears showed 100% agreement. There is 100% (32/32) agreement for the EGFR and 97% (31/32) agreement for the KRAS between the cell-transfer technique and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. One discrepant case was due to low percentage of tumor cells on the smears. Cell-transfer technique is a reliable alternative method for EGFR and KRAS testing if the cell blocks lack adequate cellularity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-935
Number of pages6
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014



  • cell transfer
  • cytology
  • EGFR
  • fine-needle aspiration
  • KRAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this