PURPOSE: To assess prognostic roles of various KRAS oncogene mutations in colorectal cancer, BRAF mutation status must be controlled for because BRAF mutation is associated with poor prognosis, and almost all BRAF mutants are present among KRAS-wild-type tumors. Taking into account experimental data supporting a greater oncogenic effect of codon 12 mutations compared to codon 13 mutations, we hypothesized that KRAS codon 12 mutated colorectal cancers might behave more aggressively than KRAS-wild-type tumors and codon 13 mutants.Experimental design: Utilizing molecular pathological epidemiology database of 1261 rectal and colon cancers, we examined clinical outcome and tumor biomarkers of KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutations in 1075 BRAF-wild-type cancers (i.e., controlling for BRAF status). Cox proportional hazards model was used to compute mortality hazard ratio (HR), adjusting for potential confounders, including stage, PIK3CA mutations, microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype, and LINE-1 methylation.RESULTS: Compared to patients with KRAS-wild-type/BRAF-wild-type cancers (N=635), those with KRAS codon 12 mutations (N=332) experienced significantly higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality [log-rank P=0.0001; multivariate HR=1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.67; P=0.037], whereas KRAS codon 13 mutated cases (N=108) were not significantly associated with prognosis. Among the seven most common KRAS mutations, c.35G greater than T (p.G12V; N=93) was associated with significantly higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality (log-rank P=0.0007; multivariate HR=2.00, 95% CI, 1.38-2.90, P=0.0003) compared to KRAS-wild-type/BRAF-wild-type cases. CONCLUSIONS: KRAS codon 12 mutations (in particular, c.35G greater than T), but not codon 13 mutations, are associated with inferior survival in BRAF-wild-type colorectal cancer. Our data highlight the importance of accurate molecular characterization in colorectal cancer.
Imamura, Y., Morikawa, T., Liao, X., Lochhead, P., Kuchiba, A., Yamauchi, M., Qian, Z. R., Nishihara, R., Meyerhardt, J., Haigis, K., Fuchs, C. S., & Ogino, S. (2012). Specific Mutations in KRAS Codons 12 and 13, and Patient Prognosis in 1075 BRAF Wild-Type Colorectal Cancers. Clinical Cancer Research, 18(17), 4753-4763. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-3210