Heterogeneity of KRAS Mutations in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

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Abstract

Objectives

Activating Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutations are the most common and frequent changes observed in pancreatic cancer. This study aimed to determine the frequency and extent of intratumoral and metastatic lymph node KRAS mutation heterogeneity of resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Methods

Tumor tissues macrodissected from tumor centers, invasion fronts (n = 97), and lymph nodes (n = 11) were subjected to DNA extraction and mutation analysis of KRAS codons 12 and 13 by pyrosequencing.

Results

Activating mutations in codon 12 of KRAS were detected in 90 (92.8%) tumor centers. No mutations were detected in KRAS codon 13 in any patient. After a comparison of tumor centers and invasion fronts, intratumoral heterogeneity of KRAS was observed only in 4 (4.1%) cases. Additional invasion front tumor analysis revealed the same mutation status consistent with each tumor center. No heterogeneity was observed between primary tumors and metastatic lymph nodes.

Conclusions

Intratumoral heterogeneity of the KRAS mutational status is rare in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In addition, no KRAS heterogeneity between primary tumors and metastatic lymph nodes was detected in this study. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that oncogenic activation of KRAS is the first driver mutation in pancreatic cancer.

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