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Background: Mutations in KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA are the most common somatic alterations found in the colorectal cancer (CRC) patients from Western countries; but their prevalence and prognostic value have not been adequately assessed in Asian patients. The aim of this study was to determine the mutation frequencies of these genes in Chinese CRC patients and to investigate their impact on prognosis. Methods: The sequences of exon 2 of KRAS, exon 15 of BRAF and exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA were evaluated by PCR and direct sequencing using DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues from primary CRC tumors of 214 patients (colon/rectum: 126/88). Results: KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA mutations were identified in 44.9% (96/214), 4.2% (9/214) and 12.3% (26/212) CRCs, respectively. The most frequent mutations in KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA were G12D, V600E and H1047R, respectively. All BRAF and 80.8% PIK3CA mutations were from colon cancer patients. BRAF V600E was associated with advanced TNM (P < 0.001), more distant metastases (P = 0.025), and worse overall survival (OS, P < 0.001; multivariate HR = 4.2, P = 0.004) in colon cancer patients. Compared with KRAS wt/BRAF wt CRC patients (N = 109), those with KRAS codon 13 mutations (N = 25) had significantly worse OS (P = 0.016; multivariate HR = 2.7, P = 0.011), whereas KRAS codon 12-mutated cases were not significantly associated with survival. Among the three most common KRAS mutations, G13D (N = 23) showed significant association with poor OS (P = 0.024; multivariate HR = 2.6, P = 0.016) compared with KRAS wt/BRAF wt patients. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that PI3K/RAS-RAF signaling pathway genes are frequently mutated in Chinese CRC patients, but have different characteristics than found in Western patients. BRAF V600E is an independent prognostic factor for Chinese patients. Our finding that KRAS codon 13 mutations (in particular G13D) are associated with inferior survival in BRAF wild-type CRCs in Chinese patients was not reported thus far. Our data emphasizes the importance of prospective evaluation of molecular features in CRC patients, because a single mutation type may represent a distinct biologic effect and clinical implication.
Chen, J., Guo, F., Shi, X., Zhang, L., Zhang, A., Jin, H., & He, Y. (2014). BRAF V600E mutation and KRAS codon 13 mutations predict poor survival in Chinese colorectal cancer patients. BMC Cancer, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-14-802