Risk factors for Ki-ras protooncogene mutation in sporadic colorectal adenomas

María Elena Martínez, Terese Maltzman, James R. Marshall, Janine Einspahr, Mary E. Reid, Richard Sampliner, Dennis J. Ahnen, Stanley R. Hamilton, David S. Alberts

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74 Scopus citations


The Ki-ras protooncogene frequently is mutated in colorectal adenocarcinomas, but the etiology of this molecular event is uncertain. We investigated the association between variables known or suspected to be related to risk for colorectal cancer and the occurrence of Ki-ras mutations in colorectal adenomas. This study was conducted among 678 male and female participants, 40-80 years of age, enrolled in a phase III trial testing the effects of a wheat bran fiber supplement on adenoma recurrence. Exposure information on the risk factors of interest was assessed through self- administered questionnaires. Mutations in codons 12 and 13 of the Ki-ras protooncogene were analyzed in baseline adenomas 0.5 cm or larger by PCR amplification followed by direct sequencing. Eighteen percent (120 of 678) of the participants had one or more adenoma(s) with Ki-ras mutations. A higher risk of Ki-ras mutations was associated with increasing age and a lower intake of total folate. The odds ratio (OR) for Ki-ras mutations for individuals > 72 years of age was 1.98 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.19- 3.27; P for trend = 0.008] compared with those less than 65 years of age. Compared with individuals in the lower tertile of total folate, those in the upper tertile had an ~ 50% lower risk of having Ki-ras mutation-positive adenomas (OR = 0.52; 95% CI = 0.30-0.88; P for trend = 0.02). There was a suggestion of a stronger inverse association of total folate with G → T transversions (OR = 0.41; 95% CI = 0.20-0.87) than G → A transitions (OR = 0.61; 95% CI = 0.31-1.21), although the CIs for the associations overlap. The results of these analyses suggest that the protective effect of folate in colon cancer observed in published studies may be mediated through folate's effect on Ki-ras mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5181-5185
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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