Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major public health problem worldwide and in Tunisia due to its increasing rate of incidence. KRAS and NRAS mutations have become a pivotal part of CRC diagnosis, given their association to treatment resistance with antiepidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies. In this study, we aimed to screen for mutations in KRAS and NRAS genes in Tunisian patients with CRC and explore their correlations with clinicopathological features. Materials and methods: AmoyDx KRAS and NRAS mutation real-time PCR kits were used to screen for mutations in KRAS (exon 2) and NRAS (exons 2, 3, and 4) in 96 CRC tumors. Results: KRAS exon 2 mutations were found in 41.7% (40/96) of the patients. Codon 12's most abundant mutations were G12D and G12V, followed by G12A, while G13D is the predominant mutation in codon 13. KRAS exon 2 mutations were associated with older patients (P = 0.029), left-sided tumors (P = 0.037), and greater differentiation (P = 0.044). The prevalence rate of NRAS mutations was 7.3%, mostly in exon 2. These mutations were associated with early stages of the disease (P = 0.039) and the absence of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.045). Conclusion: It can be inferred from this study that Tunisian CRC patients have a similar frequency of KRAS and NRAS mutations compared to those observed in other populations. Consequently, screening for KRAS and NRAS mutations is crucial for the orientation of therapies and the selection of appropriate candidates, while also helping to avoid unnecessary toxicity and increased costs for patients.


Sporadic colorectal cancer, KRAS, NRAS, real-time PCR, ARMS-PCR, Tunisia

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