Gene Summary

Gene:BRAF; B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase
Aliases: NS7, BRAF1, RAFB1, B-RAF1
Summary:This gene encodes a protein belonging to the raf/mil family of serine/threonine protein kinases. This protein plays a role in regulating the MAP kinase/ERKs signaling pathway, which affects cell division, differentiation, and secretion. Mutations in this gene are associated with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, a disease characterized by heart defects, mental retardation and a distinctive facial appearance. Mutations in this gene have also been associated with various cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, colorectal cancer, malignant melanoma, thyroid carcinoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma of lung. A pseudogene, which is located on chromosome X, has been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 15 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 15 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BRAF (cancer-related)

Brown NA, Betz BL, Weigelin HC, et al.
Evaluation of allele-specific PCR and immunohistochemistry for the detection of BRAF V600E mutations in hairy cell leukemia.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2015; 143(1):89-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Detection of BRAF V600E mutations in hairy cell leukemia (HCL) has important diagnostic utility. In this study, we sought to compare immunohistochemistry with an antibody specific for this mutation to a sensitive molecular assay.
METHODS: The performance of the BRAF V600E-specific VE1 antibody was compared with that of allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 22 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens with HCL involvement, along with nine splenic marginal zone lymphomas (SMZLs), 10 follicular lymphomas (FLs), 10 mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs), and 10 chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphomas (CLL/SLLs). An additional 11 SMZLs, 100 FLs, 20 MCLs, 83 CLL/SLL specimens, and 49 reactive tonsils within tissue microarrays were stained with VE1.
RESULTS: A BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 17 (77.3%) of 22 HCL cases by PCR. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated VE1 staining in 20 (90.9%) cases, identifying low-level (~1%) involvement in three HCL cases that were mutation negative by PCR. Evaluation of additional material from these patients confirmed the presence of BRAF V600E. Thirty-nine non-HCL cases were negative by both methods. Within tissue microarrays, weak false-positive staining was observed in two (0.8%) of 263 non-HCL cases.
CONCLUSIONS: VE1 immunohistochemistry is more sensitive than allele-specific PCR in FFPE bone marrow specimens and can be applied to decalcified core biopsy specimens that are not appropriate for molecular techniques.

Cohen AL, Colman H
Glioma biology and molecular markers.
Cancer Treat Res. 2015; 163:15-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumors classified as gliomas include a wide variety of histologies including the more common (astrocytoma, glioblastoma), as well as the less common histologies (oligodendroglioma, mixed oligoastrocytoma, pilocytic astrocytoma). Recent efforts at comprehensive genetic characterization of various primary brain tumor types have identified a number of common alterations and pathways common to multiple tumor types. Common pathways in glioma biology include growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases and their downstream signaling via the MAP kinase cascade or PI3K signaling, loss of apoptosis through p53, cell cycle regulation, angiogenesis via VEGF signaling, and invasion. However, in addition to these common general pathway alterations, a number of specific alterations have been identified in particular tumor types, and a number of these have direct therapeutic implications. These include mutations or fusions in the BRAF gene seen in pilocytic astrocytomas (and gangliogliomas). In oligodendrogliomas, mutations in IDH1 and codeletion of chromosomes 1p and 19q are associated with improved survival with upfront use of combined chemotherapy and radiation, and these tumors also have unique mutations of CIC and FUBP1 genes. Low grade gliomas are increasingly seen to be divided into two groups based on IDH mutation status, with astrocytomas developing through IDH mutation followed by p53 mutation, while poor prognosis low grade gliomas and primary glioblastomas (GBMs) are characterized by EGFR amplification, loss of PTEN, and loss of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. GBMs can be further characterized based on gene expression and gene methylation patterns into three or four distinct subgroups. Prognostic markers in diffuse gliomas include IDH mutation, 1p/19q codeletion, and MGMT methylation, and MGMT is also a predictive marker in elderly patients with glioblastoma treated with temozolomide monotherapy.

Samatar AA, Poulikakos PI
Targeting RAS-ERK signalling in cancer: promises and challenges.
Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014; 13(12):928-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signalling pathway is hyperactivated in a high percentage of tumours, most frequently owing to activating mutations of the KRAS, NRAS and BRAF genes. Recently, the use of compounds targeting components of ERK signalling, such as RAF or MEK inhibitors, has led to substantial improvement in clinical outcome in metastatic melanoma and has shown promising clinical activity in additional tumour types. However, response rates are highly variable and the efficacy of these drugs is primarily limited by the development of resistance. Both intrinsic and acquired resistance to RAF and MEK inhibitors are frequently associated with the persistence of ERK signalling in the presence of the drug, implying the need for more innovative approaches to target the pathway.

Zheng Z, Liebers M, Zhelyazkova B, et al.
Anchored multiplex PCR for targeted next-generation sequencing.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(12):1479-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a rapid target enrichment method for next-generation sequencing, termed anchored multiplex PCR (AMP), that is compatible with low nucleic acid input from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens. AMP is effective in detecting gene rearrangements (without prior knowledge of the fusion partners), single nucleotide variants, insertions, deletions and copy number changes. Validation of a gene rearrangement panel using 319 FFPE samples showed 100% sensitivity (95% confidence limit: 96.5-100%) and 100% specificity (95% confidence limit: 99.3-100%) compared with reference assays. On the basis of our experience with performing AMP on 986 clinical FFPE samples, we show its potential as both a robust clinical assay and a powerful discovery tool, which we used to identify new therapeutically important gene fusions: ARHGEF2-NTRK1 and CHTOP-NTRK1 in glioblastoma, MSN-ROS1, TRIM4-BRAF, VAMP2-NRG1, TPM3-NTRK1 and RUFY2-RET in lung cancer, FGFR2-CREB5 in cholangiocarcinoma and PPL-NTRK1 in thyroid carcinoma. AMP is a scalable and efficient next-generation sequencing target enrichment method for research and clinical applications.

Malapelle U, Vigliar E, Sgariglia R, et al.
Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing for routine identification of clinically relevant mutations in colorectal cancer patients.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(1):64-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To evaluate the accuracy, consumable cost and time around testing (TAT) of a next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay, the Ion Torrent AmpliSeq Colon and Lung Cancer Panel, as an alternative to Sanger sequencing to genotype KRAS, NRAS and BRAF in colorectal cancer patients.
METHODS: The Ion Torrent panel was first verified on cell lines and on control samples and then prospectively applied to routine specimens (n=114), with Sanger sequencing as reference.
RESULTS: The Ion Torrent panel detected mutant alleles at the 5% level on cell lines and correctly classified all control tissues. The Ion Torrent assay was successfully carried out on most (95.6%) routine diagnostic samples. Of these, 12 (11%) harboured mutations in the BRAF gene and 47 (43%) in either of the two RAS genes, in two cases with a low abundance of RAS mutant allele which was missed by Sanger sequencing. The mean TAT, from sample receipt to reporting, was 10.4 (Sanger) and 13.0 (Ion Torrent) working days. The consumable cost for genotyping KRAS, NRAS and BRAF was €196 (Sanger) and €187 (Ion Torrent).
CONCLUSIONS: Ion Torrent AmpliSeq Colon and Lung Cancer Panel sequencing is as robust as Sanger sequencing in routine diagnostics to select patients for anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer.

Chen S, Randolph M, Cramer HM, et al.
Detection of BRAF mutation in metastatic melanoma utilizing cell-transferred cytological smears.
Acta Cytol. 2014; 58(5):478-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is frequently used to diagnose metastatic melanoma. In this study, we validated the use of cell-transferred cytological smears for BRAF molecular testing.
STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a search of our laboratory information system for the period 2011-2013 in order to identify surgical pathology cases of either primary or metastatic melanomas in which BRAF mutation analyses had already been performed. Thirty FNA cases with diagnoses of metastatic melanoma from the same patients were identified. Direct smears from each FNA case were selected for mutation analyses using the cell transfer technique.
RESULTS: Mutation analyses were successfully performed on 28 of 30 FNA cases (93%) using the cell-transferred cytological smears. In 25 cases (8 BRAF mutations and 17 BRAF wild types), there was 100% agreement for the BRAF mutation between the cell-transferred cytological smears and the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Three FNA cases showed BRAF mutations that had not been detected in the correlated surgical specimens which were tested twice, and 2 cases failed to work.
CONCLUSIONS: Cell-transferred cytological smears are a reliable and alternative resource for detecting BRAF mutations in metastatic melanoma.

Hu J, Ahuja LG, Meharena HS, et al.
Kinase regulation by hydrophobic spine assembly in cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 35(1):264-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
A new model of kinase regulation based on the assembly of hydrophobic spines has been proposed. Changes in their positions can explain the mechanism of kinase activation. Here, we examined mutations in human cancer for clues about the regulation of the hydrophobic spines by focusing initially on mutations to Phe. We identified a selected number of Phe mutations in a small group of kinases that included BRAF, ABL1, and the epidermal growth factor receptor. Testing some of these mutations in BRAF, we found that one of the mutations impaired ATP binding and catalytic activity but promoted noncatalytic allosteric functions. Other Phe mutations functioned to promote constitutive catalytic activity. One of these mutations revealed a previously underappreciated hydrophobic surface that functions to position the dynamic regulatory αC-helix. This supports the key role of the C-helix as a signal integration motif for coordinating multiple elements of the kinase to create an active conformation. The importance of the hydrophobic space around the αC-helix was further tested by studying a V600F mutant, which was constitutively active in the absence of the negative charge that is associated with the common V600E mutation. Many hydrophobic mutations strategically localized along the C-helix can thus drive kinase activation.

Yang J, Hawkins OE, Barham W, et al.
Myeloid IKKβ promotes antitumor immunity by modulating CCL11 and the innate immune response.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7274-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloid cells are capable of promoting or eradicating tumor cells and the nodal functions that contribute to their different roles are still obscure. Here, we show that mice with myeloid-specific genetic loss of the NF-κB pathway regulatory kinase IKKβ exhibit more rapid growth of cutaneous and lung melanoma tumors. In a BRAF(V600E/PTEN(-/-)) allograft model, IKKβ loss in macrophages reduced recruitment of myeloid cells into the tumor, lowered expression of MHC class II molecules, and enhanced production of the chemokine CCL11, thereby negatively regulating dendritic-cell maturation. Elevated serum and tissue levels of CCL11 mediated suppression of dendritic-cell differentiation/maturation within the tumor microenvironment, skewing it toward a Th2 immune response and impairing CD8(+) T cell-mediated tumor cell lysis. Depleting macrophages or CD8(+) T cells in mice with wild-type IKKβ myeloid cells enhanced tumor growth, where the myeloid cell response was used to mediate antitumor immunity against melanoma tumors (with less dependency on a CD8(+) T-cell response). In contrast, myeloid cells deficient in IKKβ were compromised in tumor cell lysis, based on their reduced ability to phagocytize and digest tumor cells. Thus, mice with continuous IKKβ signaling in myeloid-lineage cells (IKKβ(CA)) exhibited enhanced antitumor immunity and reduced melanoma outgrowth. Collectively, our results illuminate new mechanisms through which NF-κB signaling in myeloid cells promotes innate tumor surveillance.

Varol U, Yildiz I, Salman T, et al.
Markers to predict the efficacy of bevacizumab in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
Tumori. 2014 Jul-Aug; 100(4):370-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The identification of clinical, biochemical and molecular markers to predict or monitor the efficacy of bevacizumab represents a major point in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Studies and genetic analyses have been conducted to identify a predictive biomarker of bevacizumab efficacy. However, genes of the angiogenic pathway and angiogenic biomarkers vary substantially, thereby causing interindividual differences that complicate the identification of predictors for anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs like bevacizumab. So, the current challenge in bevacizumab treatment is to find predictive markers and implement them in clinical practice. In this review we have summarized the potential candidate biomarkers that may have a role in identifying patients who benefit most from bevacizumab treatment.

VandenBussche CJ, Illei PB, Lin MT, et al.
Molecular alterations in non-small cell lung carcinomas of the young.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(12):2379-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Gene alterations are significant in lung tumorigenesis, with certain genes (Kristen rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFR], anaplastic lymphoma kinase [ALK], and B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (BRAF)) possessing alterations important in the prognosis and treatment of lung adenocarcinoma. Mutation frequencies are affected by different patient factors, such as smoking history, age, and race. Because most lung cancers occur in patients older than age of 50 years, few studies have examined molecular alterations present in these younger patients. The pathology database was searched for patients age of 50 years or younger with non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) tested for EGFR, ALK, KRAS, and/or BRAF alterations. A total of 53 cases were identified. The mean patient age was 44.4 years old, and there were 19 men and 34 women. Of the tumors, 11.6% had ALK rearrangements, 25.5% had KRAS mutations, and 20.0% had EGFR mutations. No BRAF mutations were identified in the 28 cases tested. All but 1 (92% [12/13]) tumor with KRAS mutation were from women patients. A smoking history of greater than 5 pack-years was associated with KRAS mutations and negatively associated with EGFR mutations and ALK translocation. The frequencies of EGFR mutation and ALK translocation in the study cohort are greater than the reported frequencies among NSCLC from adults of all ages in the United States but less than the reported frequencies among NSCLC from East Asian young adults. The frequency of KRAS mutation is significantly greater than what was previously found in young Japanese patients.

van der Wijst MG, Brown R, Rots MG
Nrf2, the master redox switch: the Achilles' heel of ovarian cancer?
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1846(2):494-509 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological tumor type in the world due to late stage detection, and resistance to chemotherapy. Therefore, alternative additional therapies are required. The etiology of ovarian cancer remains largely unknown, but risk factors point toward an important role for oxidative stress. Both healthy and tumor cells can cope with oxidative stress by activating the transcription factor Nrf2 (also known as Nfe2l2), the master regulator of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes. Indeed, for most ovarian cancers, aberrant activation of Nrf2 is observed, which is often associated with a copy number loss within the Nrf2-inhibitory complex KEAP1-CUL3-RBX1. A key role for Nrf2 in ovarian carcinogenesis has been validated by siRNA studies. However, to exploit the Nrf2 pathway for therapeutic interventions, potential side-effects should be minimized. In this review, we explore ovarian cancer specific factors with links to aberrant activity of Nrf2, to be exploited in future combination strategies, synergistic with direct Nrf2 inhibitory drugs. Particularly, we propose to stratify patients based on common ovarian cancer mutations (KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2, BRCA1 and its link with estradiol, TP53) for future NRF2 targeting strategies.

Pletneva MA, Andea A, Palanisamy N, et al.
Clear cell melanoma: a cutaneous clear cell malignancy.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2014; 138(10):1328-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell melanoma is a rare clear cell malignancy. Accurate diagnosis of clear cell melanoma requires integration of immunohistochemical and morphologic findings, with molecular studies to rule out clear cell sarcoma. The differential diagnosis includes melanoma, carcinoma, perivascular epithelioid cell tumor, and epidermotropic clear cell sarcoma. We use a case of a lesion on the helix of an 86-year-old man as an example. Histologic examination revealed an ulcerated clear cell malignant tumor. Tumor cell cytoplasm contained periodic acid-Schiff-positive, diastase-sensitive glycogen. Tumor cells showed positive labeling for S100, HMB-45, and Melan-A, and negative labeling for cytokeratins, p63, and smooth muscle actin. Molecular studies demonstrated BRAF V600E mutation, copy gains at the 6p25 (RREB1) and 11q13 (CCND1) loci, and absence of EWSR1-ATF1 fusion. These findings supported a diagnosis of clear cell melanoma. The rare pure clear cell morphology occurs due to accumulation of intracytoplasmic glycogen. We review the differential diagnosis of clear cell melanoma and describe the utility of immunohistochemical and molecular studies in confirming this diagnosis.

Prigge ES, Urban K, Stiegler S, et al.
No evidence of oncogenic KRAS mutations in squamous cell carcinomas of the anogenital tract and head and neck region independent of human papillomavirus and p16(INK4a) status.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(11):2347-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carcinogenesis of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in the anogenital tract and head and neck region is heterogeneous. A substantial proportion of SCC in the vulva, anus, and head and neck follows a human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced carcinogenic pathway. However, the molecular pathways of carcinogenesis in the HPV-independent lesions are not completely understood. We hypothesized that oncogenic Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutations might represent a carcinogenic mechanism in a proportion of those HPV-negative cancers. Considering the repeated observation of KRAS-associated p16(INK4a) overexpression in human tumors, it was assumed that KRAS mutations might be particularly present in the group of HPV-negative, p16(INK4a)-positive cancers. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed 66 anal, vulvar, and head and neck SCC with known immunohistochemical p16(INK4a) and HPV DNA status for KRAS mutations in exon 2 (codons 12, 13, and 15). We enriched the tumor collection with HPV DNA-negative, p16(INK4a)-positive cancers. A subset of 37 cancers was also analyzed for mutations in the B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (BRAF) gene. None of the 66 tumors harbored mutations in KRAS exon 2, thus excluding KRAS mutations as a common event in SCC of the anogenital and head and neck region and as a cause of p16(INK4a) expression in these tumors. In addition, no BRAF mutations were detected in the 37 analyzed tumors. Further studies are required to determine the molecular events underlying HPV-negative anal, vulvar, and head and neck carcinogenesis. Considering HPV-independent p16(INK4a) overexpression in some of these tumors, particular focus should be placed on alternative upstream activators and potential downstream disruption of the p16(INK4a) pathway.

Fang M, Ou J, Hutchinson L, Green MR
The BRAF oncoprotein functions through the transcriptional repressor MAFG to mediate the CpG Island Methylator phenotype.
Mol Cell. 2014; 55(6):904-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/09/2015 Related Publications
Most colorectal cancers (CRCs) containing activated BRAF (BRAF[V600E]) have a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) characterized by aberrant hypermethylation of many genes, including the mismatch repair gene MLH1. MLH1 silencing results in microsatellite instability and a hypermutable phenotype. Through an RNAi screen, here we identify the transcriptional repressor MAFG as the pivotal factor required for MLH1 silencing and CIMP in CRCs containing BRAF(V600E). In BRAF-positive human CRC cell lines and tumors, MAFG is bound at the promoters of MLH1 and other CIMP genes, and recruits a corepressor complex that includes its heterodimeric partner BACH1, the chromatin remodeling factor CHD8, and the DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B, resulting in hypermethylation and transcriptional silencing. BRAF(V600E) increases BRAF/MEK/ERK signaling resulting in phosphorylation and elevated levels of MAFG, which drives DNA binding. Analysis of transcriptionally silenced CIMP genes in KRAS-positive CRCs indicates that different oncoproteins direct the assembly of distinct repressor complexes on common promoters.

Griewank KG, Murali R, Puig-Butille JA, et al.
TERT promoter mutation status as an independent prognostic factor in cutaneous melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(9) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, TERT promoter mutations were identified at high frequencies in cutaneous melanoma tumor samples and cell lines. The mutations were found to have a UV-signature and to lead to increased TERT gene expression. We analyzed a large cohort of melanoma patients for the presence and distribution of TERT promoter mutations and their association with clinico-pathological characteristics.
METHODS: 410 melanoma tumor samples were analyzed by Sanger sequencing for the presence of TERT promoter mutations. An analysis of associations between mutation status and various clinical and pathologic variables was performed.
RESULTS: TERT promoter mutations were identified in 154 (43%) of 362 successfully sequenced melanomas. Mutation frequencies varied between melanoma subtype, being most frequent in melanomas arising in nonacral skin (48%) and melanomas with occult primary (50%), and less frequent in mucosal (23%), and acral (19%) melanomas. Mutations carried a UV signature (C>T or CC>TT). The presence of TERT promoter mutations was associated with factors such as BRAF or NRAS mutation (P < .001), histologic type (P = .002), and Breslow thickness (P < .001). TERT promoter mutation was independently associated with poorer overall survival in patients with nonacral cutaneous melanomas (median survival 80 months vs 291 months for wild-type; hazard ratio corrected for other covariates 2.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29 to 4.74; P = .006).
CONCLUSIONS: UV-induced TERT promoter mutations are one of the most frequent genetic alterations in melanoma, with frequencies varying depending on melanoma subtype. In nonacral cutaneous melanomas, presence of TERT promoter mutations is independently associated with poor prognosis.

Zeppernick F, Ardighieri L, Hannibal CG, et al.
BRAF mutation is associated with a specific cell type with features suggestive of senescence in ovarian serous borderline (atypical proliferative) tumors.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(12):1603-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Serous borderline tumor also known as atypical proliferative serous tumor (APST) is the precursor of ovarian low-grade serous carcinoma (LGSC). In this study, we correlated the morphologic and immunohistochemical phenotypes of 71 APSTs and 18 LGSCs with the mutational status of KRAS and BRAF, the most common molecular genetic changes in these neoplasms. A subset of cells characterized by abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm (EC), discrete cell borders, and bland nuclei was identified in all (100%) 25 BRAF-mutated APSTs but in only 5 (10%) of 46 APSTs without BRAF mutations (P<0.0001). Among the 18 LGSCs, EC cells were found in only 2, and both contained BRAF mutations. The EC cells were present admixed with cuboidal and columnar cells lining the papillae and appeared to be budding from the surface, resulting in individual cells and clusters of detached cells "floating" above the papillae. Immunohistochemistry showed that the EC cells always expressed p16, a senescence-associated marker, and had a significantly lower Ki-67 labeling index than adjacent cuboidal and columnar cells (P=0.02). In vitro studies supported the interpretation that these cells were undergoing senescence, as the same morphologic features could be reproduced in cultured epithelial cells by ectopic expression of BRAF(V600E). Senescence was further established by markers such as SA-β-gal staining, expression of p16 and p21, and reduction in DNA synthesis. In conclusion, this study sheds light on the pathogenesis of this unique group of ovarian tumors by showing that BRAF mutation is associated with cellular senescence and the presence of a specific cell type characterized by abundant EC. This "oncogene-induced senescence" phenotype may represent a mechanism that impedes progression of APSTs to LGSC.

Wilson MA, Morrissette JJ, McGettigan S, et al.
What you are missing could matter: a rare, complex BRAF mutation affecting codons 599, 600, and 601 uncovered by next generation sequencing.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(6):272-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testing for somatic mutations in tumor samples is becoming standard practice in a number of tumor types where targeted therapies are available. Since clinical care is dependent on the identification of the presence or absence of specific mutations, it is important that these mutations be identified consistently and accurately. Here we identify in a patient with metastatic melanoma a novel, complex mutation involving BRAF c.1798A>T (p.T599T), c.1799T>A (p.V600E), and c.1803A>T (p.K601N) that was identified by next generation sequencing but not by standard testing methods. The patient was started on a combination therapy inhibiting both BRAF and MEK, and demonstrated a dramatic clinical response. This case highlights the need for improved methods of mutation testing in tumor samples and exposes a pitfall in allele-specific testing methods that can be overcome using next generation sequencing.

Koopmans AE, Ober K, Dubbink HJ, et al.
Prevalence and implications of TERT promoter mutation in uveal and conjunctival melanoma and in benign and premalignant conjunctival melanocytic lesions.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014; 55(9):6024-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Hot-spot mutations in the promoter region of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT promoter mutations) occur frequently in cutaneous and conjunctival melanoma and are exceedingly rare in uveal melanoma. No information is available on the presence of these mutations in the conjunctival melanocytic precursor lesion primary acquired melanosis (PAM). We tested a cohort of uveal and conjunctival melanomas as well as conjunctival benign and premalignant melanocytic lesions for TERT promoter mutations in order to elucidate the role of these mutations in tumor progression.
METHODS: TERT promoter mutation analysis on fresh tumor DNA and DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens was performed by SNaPshot analysis in 102 uveal melanomas, 39 conjunctival melanomas, 26 PAM with atypia, 14 PAM without atypia, and 56 conjunctival nevi.
RESULTS: Mutations of the TERT promoter were not identified in conjunctival nevi or PAM without atypia, but were detected in 2/25 (8%) of PAM with atypia and 16/39 (41%) of conjunctival melanomas. A single TERT promoter mutation was detected in 102 uveal melanomas (1%).
CONCLUSIONS: We present the second documented case of TERT promoter mutation in uveal melanoma. In comparison with other types of melanoma, TERT promoter mutations occur at extremely low frequency in uveal melanoma. TERT promoter mutations are frequent in conjunctival melanoma and occur at lower frequency in PAM with atypia but were not detected in benign conjunctival melanocytic lesions. These findings favor a pathogenetic tumor progression role for TERT promoter mutations in conjunctival melanocytic lesions.

McFadden DG, Dias-Santagata D, Sadow PM, et al.
Identification of oncogenic mutations and gene fusions in the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(11):E2457-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) is increasingly common. Recent studies have suggested that FVPTC is heterogeneous and comprises multiple tumor types with distinct biological behaviors and underlying genetics.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this work was to identify the prevalence of mutations and gene fusions in known oncogenes in a panel representative of the common spectrum of FVPTC diagnosed at an academic medical center and correlate the clinical and pathological features obtained at the initial diagnosis with the tumor genotype.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed SNaPshot genotyping on a panel of 129 FVPTCs of ≥1 cm for 90 point mutations or small deletions in known oncogenes and tumor suppressors and identified gene fusions using an anchored multiplex PCR assay targeting a panel of rearranged oncogenes.
RESULTS: We identified a mutation or gene fusion in 70% (89 of 127) of cases. Mutations targeting the RAS family of oncogenes were the most frequently observed class of alterations, present in 36% (46 of 127) of cases, followed by BRAF mutation, present in 30% (38 of 127). We also detected oncogenic rearrangements not previously associated with FVPTC, including TFG-ALK and CREB3L2-PPARγ. BRAF mutation was significantly associated with unencapsulated tumor status.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support the hypothesis that FVPTC is composed of distinct biological entities, with one class being identified by BRAF mutation and support the use of clinical genotyping assays that detect a diverse array of rearrangements involving ALK and PPARγ. Additional studies are necessary to identify genetic drivers in the 30% of FVPTCs with no known oncogenic alteration and to better predict behavior in tumors with known genotypes.

Wiland HO, Shadrach B, Allende D, et al.
Morphologic and molecular characterization of traditional serrated adenomas of the distal colon and rectum.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(9):1290-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Of the serrated polyps, the origin, morphologic features, molecular alterations, and natural history of traditional serrated adenomas (TSAs) are the least understood. Recent studies suggest that these polyps may arise from precursor lesions. The frequencies of KRAS and BRAF mutations vary between these studies, and only 1 small study has measured CpG island methylation using current markers of methylation. Mutations in GNAS, a gene commonly mutated in colorectal villous adenomas, have not been fully evaluated in TSAs. Finally, the expression of annexin A10 (ANXA10), a recently discovered marker of sessile serrated adenomas/polyps, has not been studied in these polyps. To further characterize these polyps, 5 gastrointestinal pathologists reviewed 55 left-sided polyps diagnosed as TSA at a single institution. Pathologists assessed various histologic features including cytoplasmic eosinophilia, ectopic crypt foci, presence of conventional dysplasia, and presence of precursor serrated lesions. KRAS, BRAF, and GNAS mutational analysis was performed, as well as CpG island methylation and ANXA10 immunohistochemistry. Ectopic crypt foci were seen in 62% of TSAs. Precursor lesions were seen in 24% of the study polyps, most of which were hyperplastic polyps. KRAS and BRAF mutations were common and were present in 42% and 48% of polyps, respectively. GNAS mutations occurred in 8% of polyps, often in conjunction with a BRAF mutation. Unlike sessile serrated adenomas/polyps, TSAs rarely had diffuse expression of ANXA10. Importantly, BRAF-mutated TSAs had more widespread methylation of a 5-marker CpG island panel compared with KRAS-mutated polyps. However, ectopic crypt foci, a proposed defining feature of TSA, were not associated with any specific molecular alteration.

McDaniel AS, Zhai Y, Cho KR, et al.
HRAS mutations are frequent in inverted urothelial neoplasms.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(9):1957-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Inverted urothelial papilloma (IUP) is an uncommon neoplasm of the urinary bladder with distinct morphologic features. Studies regarding the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the etiology of IUP have provided conflicting evidence of HPV infection. In addition, little is known regarding the molecular alterations present in IUP or other urothelial neoplasms, which might demonstrate inverted growth pattern like low-grade or high-grade urothelial carcinoma (UCA). Here, we evaluated for the presence of common driving somatic mutations and HPV within a cohort of IUPs, (n = 7) noninvasive low-grade papillary UCAs with inverted growth pattern (n = 5), and noninvasive high-grade papillary UCAs with inverted growth pattern (n = 8). HPV was not detected in any case of IUP or inverted UCA by either in situ hybridization or by polymerase chain reaction. Next-generation sequencing identified recurrent mutations in HRAS (Q61R) in 3 of 5 IUPs, described for the first time in this neoplasm. Additional mutations of Ras pathway members were detected including HRAS, KRAS, and BRAF. The presence of Ras pathway member mutations at a relatively high rate suggests this pathway may contribute to pathogenesis of inverted urothelial neoplasms. In addition, we did not find any evidence supporting a role for HPV in the etiology of IUP.

Molinari F, Signoroni S, Lampis A, et al.
BRAF mutation analysis is a valid tool to implement in Lynch syndrome diagnosis in patients classified according to the Bethesda guidelines.
Tumori. 2014 May-Jun; 100(3):315-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Lynch syndrome (LS) is clinically defined by the Amsterdam criteria (AC) and by germline mutations in mismatch-repair (MMR) genes leading to microsatellite instability (MSI) at the molecular level. Patients who do not fulfil AC are considered suspected-Lynch according to the less stringent Bethesda guidelines (BG) and should be tested for MSI and MMR germline mutations. BRAF mutations have been proposed as a marker to exclude LS because they are generally absent in LS patients and present in sporadic colorectal cancer (sCRC) with MSI due to promoter hypermethylation of the MLH1 gene. Our aim was to verify whether BRAF mutations may improve the criteria to select patients for germline MMR mutation assessment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed 303 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded CRC samples including 174 sCRC, 28 patients fulfilling AC, and 101 suspected-Lynch patients fulfilling BG. We analyzed MSI and BRAF mutations in all CRC samples. MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 germline mutations were investigated in MSI patients fulfilling AC or BG.
RESULTS: sCRC samples showed MSI in 20/174 (11%) cases. BRAF mutations were detected in 10/174 (6%) sCRC cases and were significantly correlated with MSI (P = 0.002). MSI was observed in 24/28 (86%) Amsterdam cases which were BRAF wild-type. MMR gene mutation was detected in 22/26 (85%) AC cases, all showing MSI. Suspected-Lynch cases carried MSI in 41/101 (40%) and BRAF mutations in 7/101 (7%) cases. MMR gene mutation was detected in 13/28 (46%) evaluable MSI patients of this group and only in cases characterized by a wild-type BRAF gene.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of BRAF mutations in CRC patients is not high but extremely correlated with MSI and risk categories as BG, whereas they are absent in LS patients. BRAF mutation detection can reduce the need for MMR gene analysis in a small (but not negligible) proportion of MSI patients (7%), with a positive impact on the financial and psychological costs of unnecessary tests.

Trietsch MD, Spaans VM, ter Haar NT, et al.
CDKN2A(p16) and HRAS are frequently mutated in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 135(1):149-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Two etiologic pathways of vulvar cancer are known, a human papillomavirus (HPV)- and a TP53-associated route, respectively, but other genetic changes may also play a role. Studies on somatic mutations in vulvar cancer other than TP53 are limited in number and size. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of genetic mutations in 107 vulvar squamous cell carcinomas (VSCCs).
METHODS: A total of 107 paraffin-embedded tissue samples of primarily surgically treated VSCCs were tested for HPV infection and screened for mutations in 14 genes (BRAF, CDKN2A(p16), CTNNB1, FBXW7, FGFR2, FGFR3, FOXL2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, PTEN, and TP53) using Sanger sequencing and mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Mutations were detected in 7 genes. Of 107 VSCCs, 66 tumors (62%) contained at least one mutation (TP53=58, CDKN2A(p16)=14, HRAS=10, PIK3CA=7, PPP2R1A=3, KRAS=1, PTEN=1). Mutations occurred most frequently in HPV-negative samples. Five-year survival was significantly worse for patients with a mutation (47% vs 59%, P=.035), with a large effect from patients carrying HRAS-mutations.
CONCLUSION: Somatic mutations were detected in 62% of VSCCs. As expected, HPV infection and TP53-mutations play a key role in the development of VSCC, but CDKN2A(p16), HRAS, and PIK3CA-mutations were also frequently seen in HPV-negative patients. Patients with somatic mutations, especially HRAS-mutations, have a significantly worse prognosis than patients lacking these changes, which could be of importance for the development of targeted therapy.

Sutton KM, Crinnion LA, Wallace D, et al.
Detection of somatic mutations in tumors using unaligned clonal sequencing data.
Lab Invest. 2014; 94(10):1173-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Most cancers arise and evolve as a consequence of somatic mutations. These mutations influence tumor behavior and clinical outcome. Consequently, there is considerable interest in identifying somatic variants within specific genes (such as BRAF, KRAS and EGFR) so that chemotherapy can be tailored to the patient's tumor genotype rather than using a generic treatment based on histological diagnosis alone. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of tumors, a somatic mutation may be present in only a subset of cells, necessitating the use of quantitative techniques to detect rare variants. The highly quantitative nature of next-generation sequencing (NGS), together with the ability to multiplex numerous samples, makes NGS an attractive choice with which to screen for somatic variants. However, the large volumes of sequence data present significant difficulties when applying NGS for the detection of somatic mutations. To alleviate this, we have developed methodologies including a set of data analysis programs, which allow the rapid screening of multiple formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples for the presence of specified somatic variants using unaligned Illumina NGS data.

Lidsky M, Antoun G, Speicher P, et al.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) hyperactivation and enhanced NRAS expression drive acquired vemurafenib resistance in V600E BRAF melanoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(40):27714-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/10/2015 Related Publications
Although targeting the V600E activating mutation in the BRAF gene, the most common genetic abnormality in melanoma, has shown clinical efficacy in melanoma patients, response is, invariably, short lived. To better understand mechanisms underlying this acquisition of resistance to BRAF-targeted therapy in previously responsive melanomas, we induced vemurafenib resistance in two V600E BRAF+ve melanoma cell lines, A375 and DM443, by serial in vitro vemurafenib exposure. The resulting approximately 10-fold more vemurafenib-resistant cell lines, A375rVem and D443rVem, had higher growth rates and showed differential collateral resistance to cisplatin, melphalan, and temozolomide. The acquisition of vemurafenib resistance was associated with significantly increased NRAS levels in A375rVem and D443rVem, increased activation of the prosurvival protein, AKT, and the MAPKs, ERK, JNK, and P38, which correlated with decreased levels of the MAPK inhibitor protein, GSTP1. Despite the increased NRAS, whole exome sequencing showed no NRAS gene mutations. Inhibition of all three MAPKs and siRNA-mediated NRAS suppression both reversed vemurafenib resistance significantly in A375rVem and DM443rVem. Together, the results indicate a mechanism of acquired vemurafenib resistance in V600E BRAF+ve melanoma cells that involves increased activation of all three human MAPKs and the PI3K pathway, as well as increased NRAS expression, which, contrary to previous reports, was not associated with mutations in the NRAS gene. The data highlight the complexity of the acquired vemurafenib resistance phenotype and the challenge of optimizing BRAF-targeted therapy in this disease. They also suggest that targeting the MAPKs and/or NRAS may provide a strategy to mitigate such resistance in V600E BRAF+ve melanoma.

Malaguarnera R, Chen KY, Kim TY, et al.
Switch in signaling control of mTORC1 activity after oncoprotein expression in thyroid cancer cell lines.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(10):E1976-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Thyroid growth is regulated by TSH and requires mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Thyroid cancers frequently exhibit mutations in MAPK and/or phosphoinositol-3-kinase-related kinase effectors.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to explore the contribution of RET/PTC, RAS, and BRAF to mTOR regulation and response to mTOR inhibitors.
METHODS: PCCL3 cells conditionally expressing RET/PTC3, HRAS(G12V), or BRAF(V600E) and human thyroid cancer cells harboring mutations of these genes were used to test pathways controlling mTOR and its requirement for growth.
RESULTS: TSH/cAMP-induced growth of PCCL3 cells requires mTOR, which is stimulated via protein kinase A in a MAPK kinase (MEK)- and AKT-independent manner. Expression of RET/PTC3, HRAS(G12V), or BRAF(V600E) in PCCL3 cells induces mTOR but does not entirely abrogate the cAMP-mediated control of its activity. Acute oncoprotein-induced mTOR activity is regulated by MEK and AKT, albeit to differing degrees. By contrast, mTOR was not activated by TSH/cAMP in human thyroid cancer cells. Tumor genotype did not predict the effects of rapamycin or the mTOR kinase inhibitor AZD8055 on growth, with the exception of a PTEN-null cell line. Selective blockade of MEK did not influence mTOR activity of BRAF or RAS mutant cells. Combined MEK and mTOR kinase inhibition was synergistic on growth of BRAF- and RAS-mutant thyroid cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Thyroid cancer cells lose TSH/cAMP dependency of mTOR signaling and cell growth. mTOR activity is not decreased by the MEK or AKT inhibitors in the RAS or BRAF human thyroid cancer cell lines. This may account for the augmented effects of combining the mTOR inhibitors with selective antagonists of these oncogenic drivers.

Xing M, Liu R, Liu X, et al.
BRAF V600E and TERT promoter mutations cooperatively identify the most aggressive papillary thyroid cancer with highest recurrence.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(25):2718-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the prognostic value of the BRAF V600E mutation and the recently identified TERT promoter mutation chr5:1,295,228C>T (C228T), individually and in their coexistence, in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of the relationship of BRAF and TERT C228T mutations with clinicopathologic outcomes of PTC in 507 patients (365 women and 142 men) age 45.9 ± 14.0 years (mean ± SD) with a median follow-up of 24 months (interquartile range, 8 to 78 months).
RESULTS: Coexisting BRAF V600E and TERT C228T mutations were more commonly associated with high-risk clinicopathologic characteristics of PTC than they were individually. Tumor recurrence rates were 25.8% (50 of 194;77.60 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 58.81 to 102.38) versus 9.6% (30 of 313; 22.88 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 16.00 to 32.72) in BRAF mutation-positive versus -negative patients (hazard ratio [HR], 3.22; 95% CI, 2.05 to 5.07) and 47.5% (29 of 61; 108.55 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 75.43 to 156.20) versus 11.4% (51 of 446; 30.21 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 22.96 to 39.74) in TERT mutation-positive versus -negative patients (HR, 3.46; 95% CI, 2.19 to 5.45). Recurrence rates were 68.6% (24 of 35; 211.76 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 141.94 to 315.94) versus 8.7% (25 of 287; 21.60 recurrences per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 14.59 to 31.97) in patients harboring both mutations versus patients harboring neither mutation (HR, 8.51; 95% CI, 4.84 to 14.97), which remained significant after clinicopathologic cofactor adjustments. Disease-free patient survival curves displayed a moderate decline with BRAF V600E or TERT C228T alone but a sharp decline with two coexisting mutations.
CONCLUSION: Coexisting BRAF V600E and TERT C228T mutations form a novel genetic background that defines PTC with the worst clinicopathologic outcomes, providing unique prognostic and therapeutic implications.

Milosevic Z, Pesic M, Stankovic T, et al.
Targeting RAS-MAPK-ERK and PI3K-AKT-mTOR signal transduction pathways to chemosensitize anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.
Transl Res. 2014; 164(5):411-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a rare, but aggressive and chemoresistant tumor with dismal prognosis. Most ATCs harbor mutations that activate RAS/MAPK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways. Therefore, we investigated and correlated the expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog, pERK, and pAKT proteins as well as mutations of BRAF, RAS, and p53 genes in samples of patients with ATC. Furthermore, we evaluated the potential of inhibition of these pathways on chemosensitization of ATC using 2 thyroid carcinoma cell lines (FRO and SW1736). Our results revealed a negative correlation between the activity of RAS-MAPK-ERK and PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathways in samples of patients. To be specific, the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway was suppressed in patients with activated NRAS or high pERK expression. In vitro results suggest that the inhibition of either RAS-MAPK-ERK or PI3K-AKT-mTOR components may confer sensitivity of thyroid cancer cells to classic chemotherapeutics. This may form a basis for the development of novel genetic-based therapeutic approach for this cancer type.

Mirzaei MR, Najafi A, Arababadi MK, et al.
Altered expression of apoptotic genes in response to OCT4B1 suppression in human tumor cell lines.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(10):9999-10009 [PubMed] Related Publications
OCT4B1 is a newly discovered spliced variant of OCT4 which is primarily expressed in pluripotent and tumor cells. Based on our previous studies, OCT4B1 is significantly overexpressed in tumors, where it endows an anti-apoptotic property to tumor cells. However, the mechanism by which OCT4B1 regulates the apoptotic pathway is not yet elucidated. Here, we investigated the effects of OCT4B1 suppression on the expression alteration of 84 genes involved in apoptotic pathway. The AGS (gastric adenocarcinoma), 5637 (bladder tumor), and U-87MG (brain tumor) cell lines were transfected with OCT4B1 or irrelevant siRNAs. The expression level of apoptotic genes was then quantified using a human apoptosis panel-PCR kit. Our data revealed an almost similar pattern of alteration in the expression profile of apoptotic genes in all three studied cell lines, following OCT4B1 suppression. In general, the expression of more than 54 apoptotic genes (64 % of arrayed genes) showed significant changes. Among these, some up-regulated (CIDEA, CIDEB, TNFRSF1A, TNFRSF21, TNFRSF11B, TNFRSF10B, and CASP7) and down-regulated (BCL2, BCL2L11, TP73, TP53, BAD, TRAF3, TRAF2, BRAF, BNIP3L, BFAR, and BAX) genes had on average more than tenfold gene expression alteration in all three examined cell lines. With some minor exceptions, suppression of OCT4B1 caused upregulation of pro-apoptotic and down-regulation of anti-apoptotic genes in transfected tumor cells. Uncovering OCT4B1 down-stream targets could further elucidate its part in tumorigenesis, and could lead to finding a new approach to combat cancer, based on targeting OCT4B1.

Siraj AK, Bu R, Prabhakaran S, et al.
A very low incidence of BRAF mutations in Middle Eastern colorectal carcinoma.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:168 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies emphasize the role of BRAF as a genetic marker for prediction, prognosis and risk stratification in colorectal cancer. Earlier studies have reported the incidence of BRAF mutations in the range of 5-20% in colorectal carcinomas (CRC) and are predominantly seen in the serrated adenoma-carcinoma pathway characterized by microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and hypermethylation of the MLH1 gene in the setting of the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). Due to the lack of data on the true incidence of BRAF mutations in Saudi Arabia, we sought to analyze the incidence of BRAF mutations in this ethnic group.
METHODS: 770 CRC cases were analyzed for BRAF and KRAS mutations by direct DNA sequencing.
RESULTS: BRAF gene mutations were seen in 2.5% (19/757) CRC analyzed and BRAF V600E somatic mutation constituted 90% (17/19) of all BRAF mutations. BRAF mutations were significantly associated with right sided tumors (p = 0.0019), MSI-H status (p = 0.0144), CIMP (p = 0.0017) and a high proliferative index of Ki67 expression (p = 0.0162). Incidence of KRAS mutations was 28.6% (216/755) and a mutual exclusivity was noted with BRAF mutations (p = 0.0518; a trend was seen).
CONCLUSION: Our results highlight the low incidence of BRAF mutations and CIMP in CRC from Saudi Arabia. This could be attributed to ethnic differences and warrant further investigation to elucidate the effect of other environmental and genetic factors. These findings indirectly suggest the possibility of a higher incidence of familial hereditary colorectal cancers especially Hereditary non polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) syndrome /Lynch Syndrome (LS) in Saudi Arabia.

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