The Diverse Analysis Identifies Mutated KRAS Associated With Radioresistance in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Dao Qi Zhu, Ying Liu, Zhi Jian Yu, Ru Hua Zhang, Ai Wu Li, Feng Ying Gong, Wei Wang, Wei Xiao, Qin Fan


Background: To analyze the relationship between V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) status and radioresistance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we identified potential genotypic differences and pathways involved.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS status in patients undergoing definitive radiotherapy for NSCLC between 2004 and 2018. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate local progression-free survival (LPFS). Using clonogenic survival and measurement of yH2AX foci, we analyzed the difference in radiosensitivity between NSCLC cell lines with different KRAS status. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) analysis was used to explore the potential pathways involved.

Results: The results showed that of the 286 patients identified, 68 (24%) had local tumor progression (mean standard deviation (SD), 27 17.4 months); of these patients, KRAS mutations were found in 14 (23%), and KRAS status was associated with LPFS. After adjusting for concurrent chemotherapy, gross tumor volume, and mutation status in multivariate analysis, KRAS mutation was associated with shorter LPFS (hazard ratio: 1.961; 95% confidence interval: 1.03 - 2.17; P = 0.032). KRAS mutation showed higher radioresistance in vitro. TCGA data showed that the ERK1/2 pathway, phosphatidylinositol I3 kinase (PI3K)/mTOR, p38 MAPK pathway, cell cycle checkpoint signaling, DNA damage, repair pathways, and EGFR/PKC/AKT pathway were differentially expressed in patients with KRAS mutations or cell lines compared with their expression in the wild-type group.

Conclusions: Diverse analyses identified that KRAS mutation was associated with radioresistance in NSCLC. KRAS mutation status may be helpful as a biomarker of radioresistance and a potential target to increase radiosensitivity.

World J Oncol. 2022;13(2):84-95


KRAS; Non-small cell lung cancer; Radioresistance; TCGA; Biomarker

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