KRAS mutation status in primary nonsmall cell lung cancer and matched metastases

Cancer. 2010 Jun 1;116(11):2682-7. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25014.


Background: The objective of this study was to determine whether the mutation status of the v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) differed between primary tumors and matched distant metastases in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: Patients who underwent resection for both primary NSCLC and matched distant metastases were included in the study. KRAS and EGFR mutation status were assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and direct sequencing on both primary tumors and metastases. For KRAS analysis, mutant-enriched PCR (ME-PCR) was performed in case of discordance between a primary tumor and its matched metastasis.

Results: Twenty-one patients were included. No EGFR mutations were detected. KRAS mutations were detected in 6 patients (28%). In all patients, the mutations identified by direct sequencing were discordant between the primary tumor and the matched metastasis. The use of ME-PCR allowed a resolution of the discordance in 3 of the 6 cases by demonstrating the presence of low levels of mutant KRAS in lesions that were negative by direct sequencing.

Conclusions: Highly sensitive tools are required to identify biomarkers. The KRAS mutation status mostly was concordant between primary tumors and matched distant metastases. In a few patients, KRAS mutation status differed between different tumor sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics*


  • ErbB Receptors