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Ann Surg. 1993 Feb;217(2):138-43.

Detection of point mutations in the Kirsten-ras oncogene provides evidence for the multicentricity of pancreatic carcinoma.

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Second Department of Surgery, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


It has been reported that multicentricity of pancreatic carcinomas extending beyond the pancreatic duct occur in 15% to 40% of patients. This has been difficult to confirm, however, with currently available histologic techniques. Mutations in the Kirsten (Ki)-ras oncogene, which can be detected frequently in pancreatic carcinomas using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), may serve as a potential clonal marker of the cancer cells. Fifty-three patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma were selected for the determination of certain Ki-ras mutations through PCR. The authors identified mutations in the Ki-ras codon 12 in 46 of 53 tumors. Two of these 46 tumors had two different mutations to aspartic acid (GAT) and to valine (GTT) in Ki-ras codon 12. Another isolate had an additional mutation in Ki-ras codon 13. The detection of different mutations in the same tumor suggests that there may be multicentricity in pancreatic carcinomas and that its frequency may be as low as 6% of the carcinomas. These results imply that total pancreatectomy for eliminating tumor recurrence due to multicentricity may not be warranted.

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