Prognostic and predictive effect of KRAS gene copy number and mutation status in early stage non-small cell lung cancer patients

Andrea S. Fung, Maryam Karimi, Stefan Michiels, Lesley Seymour, Elisabeth Brambilla, Thierry Le-Chevalier, Jean Charles Soria, Robert Kratzke, Stephen L. Graziano, Siddhartha Devarakonda, Ramaswamy Govindan, Ming Sound Tsao, Frances A. Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: In the current analysis, we characterize the prognostic significance of KRAS mutations with concomitant copy number aberrations (CNA) in early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and evaluate the ability to predict survival benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: Clinical and genomic data from the LACE (Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation)-Bio consortium was utilized. CNAs were categorized as Gain (CN ≥2) or Neutral (Neut)/Loss; KRAS status was defined as wild type (WT) or mutant (MUT). The following groups were compared in all patients and the adenocarcinoma subgroup, and were correlated to survival endpoints using a Cox proportional hazards model: WT + Neut/Loss (reference), WT + Gain, MUT + Gain and MUT + Neut/Loss. A treatment-by-variable interaction was added to evaluate predictive effect. Results: Of the 946 (399 adenocarcinoma) NSCLC patients, 41 [30] had MUT + Gain, 145 [99] MUT + Neut/Loss, 125 [16] WT + Gain, and 635 [254] WT + Neut/Loss. A non-significant trend towards worse lung cancer-specific survival (LCSS; HR =1.34; 95% CI, 0.83-2.17, P=0.232), DFS (HR =1.34; 95% CI, 0.86-2.09, P=0.202) and OS (HR =1.59; 95% CI, 0.99-2.54, P=0.055) was seen in KRAS MUT + Gain patients relative to KRAS WT + Neut/Loss patients. A negative prognostic effect of KRAS MUT + Neut/ Loss was observed for LCSS (HR =1.32; 95% CI, 1.01-1.71, P=0.038) relative to KRAS WT + Neut/Loss on univariable analysis, but to a lesser extent after adjusting for covariates (HR =1.28; 95% CI, 0.97-1.68, P=0.078). KRAS MUT + Gain was associated with a greater beneficial effect of chemotherapy on DFS compared to KRAS WT + Neut/Loss patients (rHR =0.33; 95% CI, 0.11-0.99, P=0.048), with a non-significant trend also seen for LCSS (rHR =0.41; 95% CI, 0.13-1.33, P=0.138) and OS (rHR =0.40; 95% CI, 0.13-1.26, P=0.116) in the adenocarcinoma subgroup. Conclusions: A small prognostic effect of KRAS mutation was identified for LCSS, and a trend towards worse LCSS, DFS and OS was noted for KRAS MUT + Gain. A potential predictive effect of concomitant KRAS mutation and copy number gain was observed for DFS in adenocarcinoma patients. These results could be driven by the small number of patients and require validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-838
Number of pages13
JournalTranslational Lung Cancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Translational Lung Cancer Research.


  • Copy number aberration (CNA)
  • KRAS mutation
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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