KRAS mutations in the circulating free DNA (cfDNA) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients

Mónica Garzón, Sergi Villatoro, Cristina Teixidó, Clara Mayo, Alejandro Martínez, Maria de los Llanos Gil, Santiago Viteri, Daniela Morales-Espinosa, Rafael Rosell


Circulating free DNA (cfDNA) is obtained from serum or plasma by non-invasive methods such as a simple blood draw, a technique known as “liquid biopsy”. Genetic analyses of driver alterations in cfDNA have proved very effective to predict survival and treatment response of cancer patients according to tumoral cfDNA burden in blood. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with higher concentration of tumoral cfDNA in blood have, on average, shorter progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Regarding specific genetic alterations, KRAS proto-oncogene, GTPase (KRAS) is one of the main genes involved in NSCLC and several studies have been performed to determine its value as a predictive and prognostic biomarker in liquid biopsy. Unfortunately, to date no strong conclusions can be drawn since they have yielded contradictory results. Therefore, further investigations are necessary to establish the value of KRAS testing in liquid biopsy as prognostic or predictive factor in NSCLC. Herein, we review the current knowledge on the importance of KRAS as prognostic and predictive biomarker using non-invasive approaches and the scientific data available regarding its application in clinical practice for treatment of NSCLC.