Objectives: K-ras gene product in the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway is critical in the development of certain types of malignancies. K-ras mutation–associated pancreatic and ovarian carcinomas often display mucinous differentiation. Previous studies have shown that k-ras mutation is found in 10% to 30% of endometrial carcinomas. We investigated k-ras mutations in several morphologic subtypes of endometrial carcinomas with particular emphasis on various degrees of mucinous differentiation.
Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections. Polymerase chain reaction amplification for k-ras codons 12 and 13 were performed, followed by sequencing using capillary electrophoresis. The Fisher exact test is used to compare the prevalent difference of k-ras mutation among the groups. P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: K-ras mutations were detected in 8 (80%) of 10 mucinous carcinomas, 12 (67%) of 18 endometrioid carcinomas (ECs) with significant mucinous differentiation (ECMD), 4 (25%) of 16 ECs, and 1 (9%) of 11 serous carcinomas. The differences were statistically significant between mucinous carcinomas versus EC (P < 0.01) and ECMD versus EC (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The findings suggest that mucinous carcinoma and endometrioid carcinoma with significant mucinous component are more likely to be associated with k-ras mutation. Potential clinical implications of k-ras mutation lies in the management of recurrent or higher-stage endometrial mucinous tumors, which would not be responsive to treatment protocols containing epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors.