KRAS A146 Mutations Are Associated With Distinct Clinical Behavior in Patients With Colorectal Liver Metastases

Iris van 't Erve, Nina J Wesdorp, Jamie E Medina, Leonardo Ferreira, Alessandro Leal, Joost Huiskens, Karen Bolhuis, Jan-Hein T M van Waesberghe, Rutger-Jan Swijnenburg, Daan van den Broek, Victor E Velculescu, Geert Kazemier, Cornelis J A Punt, Gerrit A Meijer, Remond J A Fijneman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Somatic KRAS mutations occur in approximately half of the patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Biologic tumor characteristics differ on the basis of the KRAS mutation variant. KRAS mutations are known to influence patient prognosis and are used as predictive biomarker for treatment decisions. This study examined clinical features of patients with mCRC with a somatic mutation in KRAS G12, G13, Q61, K117, or A146.

METHODS: A total of 419 patients with colorectal cancer with initially unresectable liver-limited metastases, who participated in a multicenter prospective trial, were evaluated for tumor tissue KRAS mutation status. For the subgroup of patients who carried a KRAS mutation and were treated with bevacizumab and doublet or triplet chemotherapy (N = 156), pretreatment circulating tumor DNA levels were analyzed, and total tumor volume (TTV) was quantified on the pretreatment computed tomography images.

RESULTS: Most patients carried a KRAS G12 mutation (N = 112), followed by mutations in G13 (N = 15), A146 (N = 12), Q61 (N = 9), and K117 (N = 5). High plasma circulating tumor DNA levels were observed for patients carrying a KRAS A146 mutation versus those with a KRAS G12 mutation, with median mutant allele frequencies of 48% versus 19%, respectively. Radiologic TTV revealed this difference to be associated with a higher tumor load in patients harboring a KRAS A146 mutation (median TTV 672 cm3 [A146] v 74 cm3 [G12], P = .036). Moreover, KRAS A146 mutation carriers showed inferior overall survival compared with patients with mutations in KRAS G12 (median 10.7 v 26.4 months; hazard ratio = 2.5; P = .003).

CONCLUSION: Patients with mCRC with a KRAS A146 mutation represent a distinct molecular subgroup of patients with higher tumor burden and worse clinical outcomes, who might benefit from more intensive treatments. These results highlight the importance of testing colorectal cancer for all KRAS mutations in routine clinical care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJCO Precision Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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