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Lung Cancer. 1994 Jul;11(1-2):19-27.

K-ras gene point mutation: a stable tumor marker in non-small cell lung carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.


K-ras gene point mutation is a highly frequent event in human malignancy. About one third of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor K-ras gene point mutational activations. This study investigates the prevalence of K-ras mutation in autopsy tumors with NSCLC, and the correlation of K-ras gene point mutations between primary tumors and metastases in NSCLC. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 15 primary lung tumors and their metastases, (obtained from autopsy), were examined for the presence of point mutations in K-ras gene codon 12, 13 and 61 by oligodeoxynucleotide hybridization analysis of DNA fragments, amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). K-ras gene point mutations were detected in five cases of lung carcinoma, of which four were adenocarcinomas and one was squamous cell carcinoma. In each of these cases, identical K-ras gene mutations were found in the DNA of both the primary tumor and its corresponding distant metastases. Activating K-ras base-substitutions correlate well between the primary tumor and its corresponding metastases in NSCLC. In the negative cases where no K-ras mutation was found in the primary tumors, no newly acquired K-ras mutation appeared in the metastases. Our study indicates that K-ras point mutation serves as a stable tumor marker in NSCLC.

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