A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis Describing the Prevalence of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF Gene Mutations in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Elizabeth Levin-Sparenberg, Lauren C. Bylsma, Kimberly Lowe, Laura Sangare, Jon P. Fryzek, Dominik D. Alexander


Background: Tumors of the metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients that are wildtype (WT) for KRAS or NRAS mutations respond more favorably to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) treatments. Treatment guidelines now recommend that all mCRC patients have WT KRAS and NRAS tumor status confirmed prior to initiating anti-EGFR therapy. Evidence also suggests that BRAF mutations may predict lack of response to anti-EGFR therapy. As such, there is now a need for comprehensive data on the prevalence of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations among patients with mCRC.

Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted among studies that described the prevalence of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF gene mutations in mCRC patients. Observational cohort studies and standard of care arm of randomized clinical trials were included. Random effects meta-analysis models were used to create summary prevalence estimates for each of the mutation types. Subgroup analyses were also conducted to identify potential sources of heterogeneity. Exploratory analyses of overall and progression-free survival by mutation status were also conducted.

Results: This systematic review and meta-analysis included 275 studies comprising 77,104 mCRC patients. The summary prevalence estimate was 35.9% for KRAS mutations, 7.1% for BRAF mutations, and 4.1% for NRAS mutations. Female patients had significantly more KRAS and BRAF mutations than males, and significant variation by study location was observed for both KRAS and BRAF mutation prevalence. Overall survival was significantly decreased for patients with KRAS, BRAF, and NRAS mutations compared to those with WT tumors. Progression-free survival was also significantly decreased among patients with KRAS and BRAF mutations.

Conclusions: KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutation statuses in patients with mCRC are important predictors of treatment success and may also have prognostic value. In this paper we present the first systematic and comprehensive literature review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of KRAS, BRAF, and NRAS mutations and demonstrate the prognostic impact of mutation status on survival.

Gastroenterol Res. 2020;13(5):184-198
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1167


Metastatic colorectal cancer; KRAS; BRAF; NRAS; Meta-analysis

Full Text: HTML PDF Suppl1 Suppl2

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.

This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website: www.gastrores.org   editorial contact: editor@gastrores.org
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.