Detection of K-ras gene mutations in non-neoplastic lung tissue and lung cancers

Mark A. Nelson, Julie Wymer, Neil Clements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Oncogene and tumor suppressor gene mutations are candidate biomarkers for cancer risk assessment and lesion detection. The K-ras oncogene has previously been associated with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly adenocarcinomas in which reported rates of mutation have approached 30-40%. We have analyzed non-malignant lung tissue from patients with lung cancer and primary lung cancers for K-ras gene mutations. Mutations were detected in 32% cancers and 29% nonmalignant lung tissue from patients with cancer. The majority of tumors testing positive were adenocarcinoma of the lung. Normal DNA controls, including peripheral blood lymphocytes and normal lung from non-smokers, were negative. The ability to detect genetic alterations in non-malignant lung tissues is consistent with the concept that genetic alterations are involved in field cancerization of the aerodigestive trace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 15 1996


  • Biomarker
  • Field cancerization
  • K-ras
  • Kirsten-Ras
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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