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Mutation Negatively Impacts Pancreatic Cancer Survival

Mutation at histologically negative surgical margins associated with reduced overall survival

THURSDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Pancreatic cancer patients with a particular gene mutation at the histologically negative surgical margins of the tumor have significantly lower overall survival, according to study findings published in the November issue of Gut.

Dave S.B. Hoon, Ph.D., from the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., and colleagues assessed K-ras codon 12 mutations at the surgical margins of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas from 70 patients who had undergone curative resection.

The researchers found that 53 percent of patients had the K-ras mutation, which was associated with a significant reduction in median overall survival (15 months versus 55 months). Having the mutation was a significant prognostic factor for reduced survival (hazard ratio, 2.8), according to the study.

"Detection of cells harboring K-ras mutation in histologically negative surgical margins of pancreatic cancer may represent unrecognized disease and correlates with poor disease outcome," Hoon and colleagues conclude.

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