K-ras oncogene activation in atypical alveolar hyperplasias of the human lung

W. H. Westra, I. O. Baas, R. H. Hruban, F. B. Askin, K. Wilson, G. J. Offerhaus, R. J. Slebos

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Atypical alveolar hyperplasia (AAH) is a potential precursor lesion from which lung adenocarcinomas arise and may be a good target for studying the early events of lung tumorigenesis. A common genetic alteration in lung adenocarcinomas is mutational activation of K-ras. To determine the timing of K-ras activation, we evaluated formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue samples of 41 AAHs and their paired lung neoplasms from 28 patients for codon 12 point mutations of the K-ras oncogene. K-ras codon 12 mutations were detected using PCR followed by allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization. Mutations were found in 16 (39%) of the 41 AAHs, 8 (42%) of the 18 adenocarcinomas, and none (0%) of the 5 lung neoplasms that were not adenocarcinomas. Of the 18 patients with both an AAH and a synchronous lung adenocarcinoma, 6 had K-ras mutation in the adenocarcinoma but not in the AAH, 6 had mutations in the AAH but not in the adenocarcinoma, 4 did not harbor mutations in either the AAH or the adenocarcinoma, and 2 had mutations in both their AAH and their synchronous adenocarcinoma. In just 1 of the 18 patients was the same K-ras mutation present in the AAHs and adenocarcinoma of the patient. The detection of independent activating point mutations in a cancer-causing gene points to the neoplastic nature of AAH and suggests that glandular neoplasms of the lung arise from a background of field cancerization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2224-2228
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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