Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Cancer. 2013 Dec 13;13:599. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-13-599.

The prognostic values of EGFR expression and KRAS mutation in patients with synchronous or metachronous metastatic colorectal cancer.

Author information

  • 1Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/RAS/RAF/MEK/MAPK pathway is an important pathway in the carcinogenesis, invasion and metastasis of colorectal cancers (CRCs). We conducted a retrospective study to determine the prognostic values of EGFR expression and KRAS mutation in patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC) based on synchronous or metachronous status.


From October 2002 to March 2012, 205 patients with mCRC were retrospectively analyzed; 98 were found to have metachronous mCRC while 107 were found to have synchronous mCRC. The EGFR expressions were determinate by IHC (immunohistochemistry) analysis and categorized 1+ (weak intensity), 2+ (moderate intensity), and 3+ (strong intensity). Genomic DNA was isolated from frozen primary CRC tissues and direct sequencing of KRAS was performed. The clinicopathological features of these mCRC patients were retrospectively investigated according to EGFR expression and KRAS mutation status. Moreover, we analyzed the prognostic values of EGFR expression and KRAS mutation among these patients.


Of the 205 patients with mCRC, EGFR expression was analyzed in 167 patients, and positive EGFR expression was noted in 140 of those patients (83.8%). KRAS mutation was investigated in 205 patients and mutations were noted in 88 of those patients (42.9%). In patients with metachronous mCRC, positive EGFR expression was significantly correlated with well-and moderately-differentiated tumors (P=0.028), poorer disease-free survival (DFS) (P<0.001), and overall survival (OS) (P<0.001). Furthermore, positive EGFR expression was a significant independent prognostic factor of DFS (P=0.006, HR: 4.012, 95% CI: 1.130-8.445) and OS (P=0.028, HR: 3.090, 95% CI: 1.477-10.900) in metachronous mCRC patients. KRAS mutation status was not significantly related to DFS and OS of patients with metachronous mCRC; likewise, KRAS mutation status was not significantly different in the progression-free survival (PFS) and OS of patients with synchronous mCRC (all P>0.05).


The present study demonstrated that EGFR expression has prognostic value only for patients with metachronous mCRC. However, KRAS mutation did not have prognostic value in patients with metachronous or synchronous mCRC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center