APC, K-ras, and p53 gene mutations in colorectal cancer patients: correlation to clinicopathologic features and postoperative surveillance.Am Surg 2005; 71(4):336-43AS
Current researches have proposed a genetic model for colorectal cancer (CRC), in which the sequential accumulation of mutations in specific cancer-related genes, including adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), K-ras, and p53, drives the transition from normal epithelium through increasing adenomatous dysplasia to colorectal cancer. To identify patients with an increased risk of tumor recurrence or metastasis and evaluate the prognostic values of APC, K-ras, and p53 gene mutations, we investigated the frequency of these three mutated genes in tumors and sera of CRC patients. APC, K-ras, and p53 gene mutations in primary tumor tissues and their paired preoperative serum samples of 118 CRC patients were detected by using polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis, followed by direct DNA sequencing of the PCR-amplified genomic DNA. Subsequently, serum molecular markers were analyzed for their correlation with patients' clinicopathologic features and presence of postoperative recurrence/metastasis. We did not observe any significant difference in the association of APC or K-ras or p53 gene mutations in primary tumors with patients' demographic data (all were P > 0.05). In contrast, both serum APC and p53 molecular markers were closely correlated with lymph node metastasis and TNM stage (both P < 0.05). Moreover, the serum overall molecular markers (at least one of the three markers) were prominently associated with depth of tumor invasion (P = 0.033), lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001), and TNM stage (P < 0.001). In addition, a significantly higher postoperative metastasis/recurrence rate in patients positive for overall molecular markers compared to those negative for these molecular markers were also demonstrated (P < 0.001). APC and K-ras molecular markers were more frequently observed in patients with locoregional metastasis (both P < 0.05), while p53 molecular marker was usually detected in the cases of peritoneal metastasis (P = 0.004). Our findings suggest that serum molecular markers are potentially useful in the determination of colorectal cancer patients harboring gene mutations at high risk of metastasis. Serial analysis is warranted in order to assess their long-term prognostic significance and the therapeutic implications.