Role of immunotherapy and co-mutations on KRAS-mutant non-small cell lung cancer survival

J Thorac Dis. 2020 Sep;12(9):5086-5095. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2020.04.18.


Background: KRAS mutations reported in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represent a significant percentage of patients diagnosed with NSCLC. However, there still remains no therapeutic option designed to target KRAS. In an era with immunotherapy as a dominant treatment option in metastatic NSCLC, the role of immunotherapy in.

Kras: mutated patients is not clear.

Methods: Eligible patients diagnosed with NSCLC and found to have a KRAS mutation were identified in an institutional lung cancer database. Demographic, clinical, and molecular data was collected and analyzed.

Results: A total of 60 patients were identified for this retrospective analysis. Majority of patients were Caucasian (73%), diagnosed with stage IV (70%) adenocarcinoma (87%), and had a KRAS codon 12 mutation (78%). Twenty percent of patients were treated with immunotherapy. Median overall survival was 28 months in the cohort and patients who received immunotherapy were found to have better survival versus those who did not (33 vs. 22 months, P=0.31). Furthermore, there was an association between high survival and patients who received immunotherapy (P=0.007).

Conclusions: Patients with KRAS mutations have a unique co-mutation phenotype that requires further investigation. Immunotherapy seems to be an effective choice of treatment for KRAS positive patients in any treatment-line setting and yields better outcomes than conventional chemotherapy. The relationship between immunotherapy and KRAS mutations requires further studies to confirm survival advantage.

Keywords: KRAS; Lung cancer; co-mutations; immunotherapy; molecular testing.