Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of KRAS mutant subtypes on the outcome of patients with resected lung adenocarcinoma (AC).
Methods: Using clinical and sequencing data, we identified 179 patients with resected lung AC for whom KRAS mutational status was determined. A multivariate Cox model was used to identify factors associated with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Publicly available mutation and gene-expression data from lung cancer cell lines and lung AC were used to assess whether distinct KRAS mutant variants have a different profile.
Results: Patients with KRAS mutation had a significantly shorter DFS compared with those with KRAS wild-type (p = 0.009). Patients with KRAS-G12C mutant tumors had significantly shorter DFS compared with other KRAS mutants and KRAS wild-type tumors (p < 0.001). In the multivariate Cox model, KRAS-G12C remained as an independent prognostic marker for DFS (Hazard ratio = 2.46, 95% confidence interval 1.51-4.00, p < 0.001) and for OS (Hazard ratio = 2.35, 95% confidence interval 1.35-4.10, p = 0.003). No genes were statistically significant when comparing the mutational or transcriptional profile of lung cancer cell lines and lung AC harboring KRAS-G12C with other KRAS mutant subtypes. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that KRAS-G12C mutants overexpressed epithelial to mesenchymal transition genes and expressed lower levels of genes predicting KRAS dependency.
Conclusions: KRAS-G12C mutation is associated with worse DFS and OS in resected lung AC. Gene-expression profiles in lung cancer cell lines and surgically resected lung AC revealed that KRAS-G12C mutants had an epithelial to mesenchymal transition and a KRAS-independent phenotype.