Activating mutations in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) are common in lung adenocarcinoma of never smokers but are rare in other types of cancer. Here we have analysed mutations in exons 19 to 21 of EGFR and in exons 19 and 20 of the EGFR homolog HER2 in 54 cases of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas (ESCC) from patients recruited in Kashmir, India, a region of high incidence for this cancer. We report the detection of 3 mutations (6%) in the ATP-binding regulatory loops of the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR (deletion 746–750, P753L, G719D). No mutation was found in HER2. This is the first report of activating EGFR mutations in ESCC, of the same type as those detected in lung adenocarcinoma of never-smokers. This suggests that a small proportion of ESCC patients in this high incidence area may benefit from treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors
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