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Indian J Cancer. 2014 Oct-Dec;51(4):531-7. doi: 10.4103/0019-509X.175371.

Prevalence of KRAS mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer: A retrospective observational study from India.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, Triesta Reference Laboratory, Triesta Sciences, A unit of Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



One of the genetic alterations implicated in tumor progression in colorectal cancers (CRCs) are abnormalities in Kristen Rat Sarcoma (KRAS) gene. Evaluation of KRAS mutation status is an important prognostic factor and has predictive value in deciding first line therapy based on monoclonal antibodies such as Cetuximab and Panitumumab in metastatic CRCs.


In this retrospective study, we analyzed 7 different somatic mutations in Exon 2 of KRAS gene in 299 unselected incidental CRC patients who visited the hospital for clinical management during the period 2009-2013. Most of the tumors were primarily originating from colon and rectum; nevertheless, there were a few from rectosigmoid, sigmoid, ceacum and anal canal in the study group. Genomic DNA extracted from paraffin embedded tumor tissues was screened for 7 point mutations located in Codons 12 and 13 of KRAS gene, using Scorpions amplified refractory mutation system real time polymerase chain reaction technology. Statistical analysis was performed to assess bivariate relationship between different variables that includes: mutation status, mutation type, tumor location, tumor morphology, age and sex.


Prevalence of mutation in Codons 12 and 13 was 42.8% in the study group. Well-differentiated tumors had significantly more mutation positivity than moderately and poorly differentiated tumors (P = 0.001). 92% of the mutations were from Codon 12 and 8% in Codon 13. Glycine to Arginine was relatively more common in rectosigmoid followed by ceacum, while Glycine to Alanine mutation was relatively more prevalent in sigmoid, followed by rectum and rectosigmoid.


The results suggest a prevalence of KRAS mutation at 42.8% in Indian population indicating that this testing is very crucial for targeted therapy management in metastatic CRC in India. Further analysis on mutation status of other homologues such as NRAS and downstream partner, v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1, would add value to understanding the role of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy in CRC management.

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