Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2001 Jun 1;19(11):2837-43.

Discordance between K-ras mutations in bone marrow micrometastases and the primary tumor in colorectal cancer.

Author information

Fondation Pour Recherches Médicales, Geneva, Switzerland.



To study bone marrow micrometastases from colorectal cancer patients for the presence of K-ras mutations and to compare their genotype with that of the corresponding primary tumor.


Bilateral iliac crest aspiration was performed in 51 patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer, and bone marrow micrometastases were detected by immunohistochemistry. The presence of K-ras mutations was determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis on both primary tumors and paired bone marrow samples and was confirmed by sequencing.


In six patients with primary tumor mutations, it was possible to amplify a mutated K-ras gene also from the bone marrow sample. In three of those patients the pattern of K-ras mutations differed between both samples, in two patients the mutation was identical between the bone marrow and its primary tumor, and in one patient the same mutation plus a different one were found. Fifteen of 17 K-ras mutations found in primary tumors were located in codon 12, whereas in bone marrow, five of seven mutations were found in codon 13 (P =.003).


Our results demonstrate that, at least for K-ras mutations, disseminated epithelial cells are not always clonal with the primary tumor and they question the malignant genotype of bone marrow micrometastases. They also indicate that different tumoral clones may be circulating simultaneously or sequentially in the same patient. Analysis of the type of mutations suggests that cell dissemination might be an early event in colorectal carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center