K-ras status in squamous cell anal carcinoma (SCC): It's time for target-oriented treatment?

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Purpose: Squamous cell anal carcinoma (SCC) is an uncommon disease comprising only 1-5% of all intestinal tumours. SCC is now considered the prototype for the successful application of conservative treatment as chemoradiation instead of aggressive surgery. The EGFR status and k-ras mutations in SCC of the anal canal has not been well investigated. The purpose of our evaluation was to give information about this issue. Methods: From June 1999 to December 2008, 32 patients affected by SCC were treated in our institution with chemotherapy containing fluoropyrimidine and platinum salt concomitant with pelvic radiotherapy. Immunohistochemistry for EGFR and k-ras mutation was retrospectively evaluated. Results: Twenty-six specimens were considered evaluable for biological objectives: K-ras mutation was performed in all cases, while EGFR in 12. In all cases of our series wild-type K-ras was observed. Conclusions: Such information is, in our knowledge, the first reported in literature on this setting. This observation previously reported in other tumours has supported the effective use of EGFR-inhibitors in recurrent or metastatic disease. This observation could support the role of EGFR-inhibitors in the treatment of SCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Chemotherapy
  • EGFR
  • K-ras status
  • Squamous cell anal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Toxicology


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