Topographic analysis of K-ras mutations in histologically normal lung tissues and tumours of lung cancer patients

P. Keohavong, H. H. Mady, W. M. Gao, J. M. Siegfried, J. D. Luketich, M. F. Melhem

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32 Scopus citations


Mutations in the K-ras gene are very common in lung tumours and are implicated in the development of lung cancer, but the timing of their occurrence remains poorly understood. We investigated K-ras mutations in cell samples microdissected by laser capture microscopy at multiple sites from lung tissue sections representing tumour tissue and matched histologically normal tissue obtained from 48 lung cancer patients. K-ras mutations were detected in cell samples from 10 of 38 (26.3%) lung adenocarcinomas and in none of the histologically normal or tumour cell samples taken from 10 lung squamous cell carcinomas. Of the K-ras mutation-positive adenocarcinomas, in 4 cases a mutation was found in only the tumour tissue, in 1 case a mutation was found only in the histologically normal tissue, and in 5 cases mutations were found in both the tumour tissue and histologically normal tissue. Among these 5 cases, 2 had identical mutations in both the tumour tissue and histologically normal tissue, 2 had 1 mutation in the tumour tissue and 2 mutations in the histologically normal tissue, 1 of which was identical to the mutation found in the tumour, and 1 case had 2 codon 12 mutations in tumour tissue and 2 mutations, in codons 9 and 11, in histologically normal tissue. These results showed that K-ras mutations are frequent in histologically normal cells taken from outside lung adenocarcinomas and suggest that some of these mutations may represent early events which could pave the way of lung carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the American Cancer Society (RPG-99-161-01-CNE), and by an NCI grant 1-RO3-CA71609-01, and The Veterans Research Foundation of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA15240.


  • Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
  • Laser capture microdissection
  • Lung carcinoma
  • ras oncogene


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