Induction of PM2.5-associated lung cancer in response to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI) remains unclear. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their polar derivatives (oxygenated PAHs: OPAHs and azaarenes: AZAs) were characterized in fine particulates (PM2.5) emitted from indoor coal combustion. Samples were collected in Xuanwei (Yunnan Province), a region in China with a high rate of lung cancer. Human lung adenocarcinoma cells A549 (with wild-type EGFR) and HCC827 (with EGFR mutation) were exposed to the PM2.5, followed by treatment with EGFR-TKI. Two samples showed significant and dose-dependent reduction in the cell viability in A549. EGFR-TKI further demonstrated significantly decreased in cell viability in A549 after exposure to the coal emissions. Chrysene and triphenylene, dibenzo[a,h]anthracene, benzo[ghi]perylene, azaarenes and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (carbonyl-OPAHs) were all associated with EGFR-TKI–dependent reduced cell viability after 72-h exposure to the PM2.5. The findings suggest the coal emissions could influence the response of EGFR-TKI in lung cancer cells in Xuanwei.
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