K-ras mutation in colorectal cancer: relations to patient age, sex and tumour location

Br J Cancer. 1994 Feb;69(2):367-71. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1994.67.


DNA from 251 primary tumours obtained from 123 male and 125 female Norwegian patients with colorectal carcinoma was analysed for the presence of K-ras point mutations at codons 12 and 13. Mutations were found in 99 (39%) of the samples. The frequency of K-ras mutations was significantly related to age and sex of the patients, and to the location of the tumours (overall: P = 0.008). K-ras mutations were much less frequent in colonic tumours from male than female patients at younger ages (< 40 years, odds ratio < 0.014). The low frequency might indicate that a different, ras-independent, pathway to neoplasia is dominating in the colon of younger males. In contrast, older men had more mutations than older women (e.g. 90 years, odds ratio = 5.8). An inverse but less pronounced relationship was seen for rectal tumours. The type of mutation was found to be associated to sex of patient and location of tumour. G-->C transversions accounted for 35% of the mutations in rectal tumours from females, in contrast to only 2.5% in the rest of the material (P = 0.0005). This may indicate that there are specific carcinogens acting in this location.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Point Mutation / genetics*