Diagnostic and prognostic value of incidence of K-ras codon 12 mutations in resected distal bile duct carcinoma

Arjen M. Rijken, Thomas M. Van Gulik, Mirjam M. Polak, Patrick D J Sturm, Dirk J. Gouma, G. Johan A Offerhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: The K-ras gene is one of the most extensively investigated oncogenes in a wide variety of human tumors, but has rarely been studied in distal bile duct carcinoma (DBDC). We sought to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic value of K-ras codon 12 mutations in this type of tumor. Methods: Forty-seven patients who had undergone resection for DBDC were analyzed to reveal the incidence of K-ras codon 12 mutations, the locus most frequently involved. A rapid and simple two-step, semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was used to detect mutations in paraffin- embedded tumor samples. Results: The PCR mismatch amplification technique demonstrated that 35 (75%) of the 47 tumors harbored a point mutation in codon 12 of the K-ras oncogene. Patients with mutated tumors had no statistically different survival time compared to those patients without a mutation in the tumor. In contrast, negative microscopic margins proved to be a significant prognosticator. Conclusions: K-ras codon 12 mutations are common in DBDC and may be useful in the diagnosis and early detection of these tumors. However, no prognostic value of these mutations could be identified in this analysis. The results of this study also suggest that negative surgical margins remain the mainstay of prognostication in resectable DBDC. However, due to the small number of patients included in this study, the results obtained should be interpreted with care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Biliary cancer
  • Biliary surgery
  • K-ras
  • Oncogenes
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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