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Virchows Arch. 2005 May;446(5):483-8. Epub 2005 Apr 7.

Mutational analysis of EGFR and K-RAS genes in lung adenocarcinomas.

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Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Socho-gu, Seoul, 137-701, South Korea.


Both epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and RAS gene mutations contribute to the development of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Because RAS is one of the downstream molecules in the EGFR signal transduction, the association between the somatic mutations of EGFR and RAS may be important in the pathogenesis of NSCLC . However, to date, such data are lacking. In this study, we analyzed the hotspot regions of K-RAS gene (codons 12, 13, 59 and 61) and EGFR gene (exons 18, 19 and 21) in 153 NSCLC tissue samples including 69 adenocarcinomas. Overall, we detected 30 EGFR mutations (19.6%) and 6 K-RAS mutations (3.9%) in the 153 NSCLCs. In the 69 adenocarcinomas, 26 EGFR mutations (37.7%) and six K-RAS mutations (8.7%) were detected. Of note, the 26 tumors with EGFR mutations did not harbor any K-RAS mutations, and the six tumors with K-RAS mutations did not harbor any EGFR mutations. Inverse relationship between K-RAS and EGFR mutations in the lung adenocarcinoma was statistically significant (P=0.046, chi2 test). As regards smoking history, EGFR mutation was significantly associated with never-smoking history, whereas K-RAS mutation was significantly associated with smoking history. Our data suggest that mutations of EGFR and K-RAS genes might separately, but not cooperatively, contribute to lung adenocarcinoma pathogenesis, and that EGFR and K-RAS mutants could separately be anti-neoplastic targets in lung adenocarcinomas.

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