Detection of K-ras gene mutations in plasma DNA of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma: correlation with clinicopathological features.Clin Cancer Res. 1998 Jun; 4(6):1527-32.CC
We investigated the presence of K-ras gene mutation in plasma DNA and assessed its clinical value in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Mutations in codon 12 of the K-ras gene were examined by mutant allele-specific amplification method using DNA extracted from surgical specimens and plasma samples of 21 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. K-ras gene mutation was detected in 15 of 21 (71%) primary tumors. In 9 of 15 (60%) patients with K-ras gene mutation-positive tumors, an identical mutation was detected in the plasma DNA. None of four patients with chronic pancreatitis or five healthy subjects had such mutations in plasma DNA. Tumors positive for K-ras gene mutation in plasma DNA were significantly larger (P = 0.04) and less likely to result in a curative cure after surgical resection (P = 0.09) than those negative for the mutation. Other clinicopathological features, including age, sex, histological type, mode of invasion, and metastasis, did not correlate with K-ras gene mutations in plasma DNA. Treatment resulted in disappearance of K-ras gene mutations in plasma DNA in six of nine (67%) patients. Three patients with a persistently positive K-ras gene mutation in pre- and post-treatment plasma samples were likely to show early recurrence or have a progressive disease. Our findings suggest that K-ras gene mutation can be detected in plasma DNA of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Detection of K-ras mutations in plasma may be clinically useful for evaluating tumor burden and efficacy of treatment.