Ki-ras mutations in exocrine pancreatic cancer: association with clinico-pathological characteristics and with tobacco and alcohol consumption. PANK-ras I Project Investigators

Int J Cancer. 1997 Mar 17;70(6):661-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19970317)70:6<661::aid-ijc6>;2-t.


The aims of this study were (i) to assess the prevalence and spectrum of codon 12 Ki-ras mutations in patients diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic cancer (EPC) in 2 general hospitals between 1980 and 1990, (ii) to analyze the association of this genetic alteration with clinical and pathological characteristics, and (iii) to determine the association of Ki-ras mutations with tobacco and alcohol consumption. DNA was amplified from paraffin-embedded tissue samples and mutations in codon 12 of Ki-ras were detected using the artificial RFLP technique. Cox proportional-hazards regression and unconditional logistic regression were applied. Codon 12 Ki-ras mutations were detected in 30 of 51 cases for which molecular results were available. The amino-acid substitutions were Asp (8), Val (6), and Arg (3). A double mutation, including always a Val, was detected in 5 cases. None of the 4 nonductal pancreatic neoplasms were mutated. The mutation prevalence was 79% in metastases and 54% in primary tumors. The risk of a mutated tumor was 3 times higher in alcohol drinkers than in non-drinkers, and a linear trend was apparent. When age, gender, hospital, and tobacco and alcohol consumption were taken into account, a high risk for mutations was detected in patients who only smoked and in patients who only drank, but less so in patients who both smoked and drank. These results raise novel hypotheses regarding the role of tobacco and alcohol in EPC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Survival Analysis


  • DNA, Neoplasm