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J Mol Diagn. 2011 Sep;13(5):485-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

A multiplex SNaPshot assay as a rapid method for detecting KRAS and BRAF mutations in advanced colorectal cancers.

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Platform of Molecular Biology of Cancers, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France.


The analysis of KRAS mutations has become a prerequisite for anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancers. KRAS mutations are associated with resistance to treatment by monoclonal antibodies such as cetuximab and panitumumab and thus are correlated with a shorter progression-free survival. BRAF mutations also may play a role in treatment decisions. The widespread use of these targeted therapies has generated the need to develop cost-effective methods for routine KRAS and BRAF analysis. The aim of this study was to compare a multiplex SNaPshot assay with DNA sequencing and high-resolution melting analysis for identifying KRAS codons 12 and 13 and BRAF codon 600 mutations. Thus 110 routinely formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue blocks were tested by each method. The SNaPshot analysis detected KRAS and BRAF codon 600 mutations in, respectively, 34.5% (n = 38) and 10% (n = 11) of these tissue blocks. These results were confirmed by direct DNA sequencing and by high-resolution melting analysis. The costs and time constraints of each detection method were compared at the same time. In conclusion, our newly designed multiplex SNaPshot assay is a fast, inexpensive, sensitive, and robust technique for molecular diagnostic practices and patient selection.

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