Publication Title: Detection of KRAS G12/G13 Mutations in Cell Free-DNA by Droplet Digital PCR, Offers Prognostic Information for Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Journal:  Cells 2020, 9(11), 2514

Communication Type: Scientific Publication

By:  Chara Koutoulaki, Konstantinos Mavridis, Eleftherios Vorrias, Maria A. Papadaki, Anastasios V. Koutsopoulos, Dimitrios Mavroudis, and Sofia Agelaki

UOC , Greece



KRAS mutations are found in approximately one third of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. In this study, we aim to investigate whether KRAS G12/G13 mutant allele fraction (MAF) in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can provide meaningful prognostic information in NSCLC. Multiplex droplet-digital PCR was used to quantitatively assess KRAS G12/G13 MAF in cfDNA from 114 pre-treated advanced disease NSCLC patients. In 14 patients, changes in KRAS G12/G13 MAF were longitudinally monitored during treatment. Plasma KRAS G12/G13 status was associated with poor patients’ outcome in terms of progression-free survival (PFS) (p < 0.001) and overall survival (OS) (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, the detection of plasma KRAS mutations was an independent predictor of adverse PFS (HR = 3.12; p < 0.001) and OS (HR = 2.53; p = 0.002). KRAS G12/G13 MAF at first treatment evaluation (T1) was higher (p = 0.013) among patients experiencing progressive disease compared to those with disease control, and increased KRAS MAF at T1 was associated (p = 0.005) with shorter PFS. On the contrary, no association was observed between tissue KRAS mutation status and patients’ prognosis. Our results show that ddPCR-based detection of KRAS G12/G13 mutations in plasma could serve as an independent biomarker of unfavorable prognosis in NSCLC patients. Changes in KRAS MAF can provide valuable information for monitoring patient outcome during treatment.