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Research

Clinical characteristics, outcomes and prognostic factors in KRAS mutant lung cancers: experience from a tertiary care cancer center in India

22 Feb 2024
Vanita Noronha, Laboni Sarkar, Vijay Patil, Nandini Menon, Minit Shah, Akash Pawar, Oindrila Roy Chowdhury, Omshree Shetty, Anuradha Chougule, Pratik Chandrani, Rajiv Kaushal, Trupti Pai, Amit Janu, Nivedita Chakrabarty, Kumar Prabhash

Objectives: Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (KRAS) mutations in lung cancers, long considered untargetable, have had a recent rise in interest due to promising data of agents targeting KRAS p.G12C. As Indian data are scarce, we sought to identify baseline clinical characteristics, prognostic factors and outcomes of lung cancer patients with KRAS mutations at our hospital.

Methods: Patients with KRAS mutant lung cancers treated at our institute from 2016 to 2022 were analysed.

Results: 133 patients with KRAS mutant lung cancers were identified. Median age was 57 (interquartile range 28–78) years, and 58 (43.6%) were smokers. 17 (12.7%) had brain metastases. The commonest variant was p.G12C, seen in 53 (39.8%) patients. Six (4.5%) had programmed death ligand 1 (PDL-1) expression >50% by Ventana SP263 PDL-1 assay, and 13 (9.7%) had epidermal growth factor mutation. Of 92 patients with available treatment details, the majority received intravenous chemotherapy, nine (9.8%) received tyrosine kinase inhibitors and four (4.4%) received immunotherapy (pembrolizumab). Median progression-free survival (PFS) with first-line therapy was 6 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.8–9.2) months and median overall survival (OS) was 12 (CI 9.2–14.8) months. The incidence of brain metastases was higher in patients with G12C mutations (p = 0.025). Brain metastases (HR: 3.57, p < 0.001), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (PS) ≥ 2 (HR: 2.13, p = 0.002) and G12C mutation (HR: 1.84, p = 0.011) were associated with inferior PFS, while brain metastases (HR: 4.6, p < 0.001), PS ≥ 2 (HR: 2.33, p = 0.001) and G12C mutation (HR: 1.93, p = 0.01) were associated with inferior OS.

Conclusion: This is the largest dataset of KRAS mutant lung cancers from India. Brain metastases were higher in patients with G12C mutations and associated with poorer PFS and OS. G12C mutation and PS ≥ 2 were also associated with inferior PFS and OS. Experience with targeted therapy for KRAS mutations remains an area of future exploration due to the unavailability of these agents in India.

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