Is KRAS mutation associated with interval colorectal cancers?

Aasma Shaukat, Mustafa A Arain, Ruth Anway, Sharad Manaktala, Laurie Pohlman, Bharat Thyagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background Colorectal cancers diagnosed in the interval after a complete colonoscopy may occur due to rapid tumor growth. Interval colorectal cancers are associated with microsatellite instability (MSI). Aims Our aim was to study the association of KRAS mutation with interval colorectal cancers and MSI. Methods We searched our institution's cancer registry for interval colorectal cancers, defined as colorectal cancers that developed within 5 years of a complete colonoscopy. These were frequency matched to patients with non-interval colorectal cancers. Archived cancer specimens were evaluated for KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 13 using sequencing, and MSI by sequencing microsatellite loci. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the association between KRAS mutation status, MSI status and interval colorectal cancers. Results There were 63 interval and 131 non-interval colorectal cancers. KRAS mutation was present in 12.9% of interval cancers compared to 28.9% of non-interval cancers (P = 0.03). In multivariable logistic regression model, KRAS was inversely associated with interval cancers (OR 0.36; 95% CI 0.15-0.90). In Cox proportional hazards model, adjusting for age, tumor grade, TNM Stage and MSI status, we found no association between KRAS mutation and 5-year survival compared to cancers without KRAS mutation (HR 0.84; 95% CI 0.4-1.46; P = 0.5). Conclusions KRAS mutation is inversely associated with interval cancers and with MSI, suggesting that it is a marker of the chromosomal instability pathway associated with slow tumor growth, and distinct from MSI rapidly growing cancers. Molecular characterization of colorectal cancers is helpful in determining underlying pathway and may determine therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-917
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Supported in part by grants: VA Career Development Award (Aasma Shaukat), and Minnesota Veterans Research Institute (Aasma Shaukat).


  • Cancer
  • Colorectal
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Interval
  • KRAS
  • MSI
  • Microsatellite instability


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