Prognostic significance of K-ras mutations in colorectal carcinoma

Gastroenterology. 1993 Apr;104(4):1044-8. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(93)90272-e.


Background: Mutations at codons 12, 13, and 61 of the ras genes have been found in a variety of human tumors and may have prognostic significance. K-ras mutations have been shown in 40%-50% of colorectal cancers.

Methods: Using a simple nonradioactive polymerase chain reaction-based technique, we have investigated the possible prognostic significance of point mutations of the K-ras gene in patients with human colorectal carcinomas. The prevalence and the type of ras mutations were compared between a group of 35 patients having recurrent disease within 5 years and a group of 64 patients who were disease free 5 years following surgery.

Results: First, we found that the overall prevalence of mutations within codons 12 and 13 of the K-ras gene was 25% in the nonrecurring group vs. 71% in the patients with recurrent disease (P < 0.0001) and, second, that mutations other than GGT to GAT occurred, with one exception, exclusively in recurring tumors.

Conclusions: In Dukes' B and C primary tumors, mutations other than GGT to GAT identify patients at very high risk for recurrence. Our results indicate that determining the K-ras mutations provides a good prognostic factor in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Genes, ras*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Point Mutation*
  • Prognosis
  • Rectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Recurrence


  • Codon
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides