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Diagn Mol Pathol. 1997 Aug;6(4):179-84.

Clonal origin of multiple lung cancers: K-ras and p53 mutations determined by nonradioisotopic single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis.

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University of California, Davis Cancer Center, Sacramento 95817, USA.


Disease stage is the most important factor in determining prognosis and treatment of lung cancer. Staging of lung cancer is complicated by presentation of multiple pulmonary malignant lesions with a similar histology. It is a dilemma to decide if these lesions are synchronous primaries arising from different malignant clones or metastases from a single clone. Lung cancer is associated with multiple genetic abnormalities including mutations of K-ras and p53, which are believed to occur prior to onset of metastasis. To determine the clonal origin of multiple pulmonary malginant nodules, we analyzed point-mutations of K-ras and p53 by microdissection, polymerase chain reactions (PCR), nonradioisotopic single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, and DNA sequencing. Each pulmonary lesion was microdissected from paraffin slides. Genomic DNA was amplified by two sequential PCRs followed by electrophoresis in a minigel and silver staining. Deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing was performed if necessary to confirm a mutation found upon SSCP analysis. Applying this molecular approach, we were able to differentiate the clonal origins of multiple malignant nodules of the lung as exemplified by the two cases presented.

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