Comparison of K-ras gene mutations in tumour and sputum DNA of patients with lung cancer

Li Fang Zhang, Wei Min Gao, Robert Gealy, Joel Weissfeld, Elaine Elder, Theresa L. Whiteside, Phouthone Keohavong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Mutations in the K-ras gene are frequently found in lung tumours and are implicated in the development of lung cancer. In order to investigate the clinical usefulness of these mutations in lung cancer, we applied a sensitive method to compare mutations in codon 12 of the K-ras gene in DNA extracted from lung tumours and the matched sputum samples obtained from 22 lung cancer patients. K-ras mutations were identified in the lung tumours of 12 patients (54.5%) and in the sputum samples of 10 patients (45.5%). Nine patients showed an identical mutation in both the tumour and the matched sputum samples. There was a significant association between the presence of a K-ras mutation in a lung tumour and the detection of an identical mutation in the matched sputum sample of the lung cancer patient (κ = 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.32-0.95, p < 0.01). K-ras mutations were detected in sputum samples from cancer patients with all lung tumour grades, and both in the presence and the absence of lymph node metastasis. Therefore, K-ras mutations may provide useful diagnostic markers for lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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