Lung cancer, a major health problem affecting the epithelial lining of the lower respiratory tract, is considered to be one of the deadliest types of cancer in males and females and it is well-known that smoking is the chief cause of lung cancer. In addition to smoking and environmental factors, genetic susceptibility may also contribute to the development of lung cancer. Previous studies have shown that certain non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor gain-of-function mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR). Phosphorylated EGFR triggers the activation of intracellular signal transduction pathways, including the RAS-MAPK, PI3K-Akt and STAT pathways. However, K-Ras gene point mutations in codons 12, 13 or 61 cause the inactivation of GTPase activity which results in overstimulation of cellular growth and gives rise to neoplastic development. Our aim was to investigate the presence and association of EGFR and K-Ras mutations in 50 primary NSCLC patients with a smoking history by using real-time PCR and sequencing. EGFR mutations were detected in four patients (8%). Two of these mutations were L858R mutations and the remaining two were deletion mutations spanning between codons 746 and 750. The L858R mutation was significantly associated with smoking status (P=0.003). K-Ras codon 12 and 61 mutations were also observed in four patients. However, no association was observed between K-Ras mutations and the tumor staging, gender, histology and smoking status of the patients.
Baykara, O., Tansarikaya, M., Demirkaya, A., Kaynak, K., Tanju, S., Toker, A., & Buyru, N. (2013). Association of epidermal growth factor receptor and K-Ras mutations with smoking history in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 5(2), 495–498. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2012.829