Background: Pulmonary metastasectomy is an integral part of the interdisciplinary treatment of patients with pulmonary metastases (PMs) from colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Although alterations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway are common in CRC, there is still insufficient data regarding PM. We hypothesized that EGFR expression and Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS)/BRAF mutations (Mts) might be associated with clinicopathological variables and the outcome in patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy. Methods: In this single-center study, 44 patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy from primary CRC were included and prospectively followed up. Tissue specimens of resected PMs were assessed. Restriction fragment length analysis was used for BRAF V600E and KRAS codons 12 and 13 Mt analyses. EGFR expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Patients were followed up in 3-6-month intervals. Results: EGFR expression was evident in 49 % of the PMs, whereas Mts in KRAS and BRAF were detected in 48 and 0 %, respectively. Time to lung-specific recurrence after metastasectomy was significantly decreased in patients with KRAS mutated PMs in univariate (p = 0.013) and multivariate analysis (p = 0.035), whereas EGFR expression had no impact on recurrence free survival. Moreover, KRAS Mts were associated with the number of PMs (p = 0.037) and with the lung as first site of recurrence after metastasectomy (p = 0.047). Discussion: This is the first evaluation of EGFR pathway alterations in the setting of pulmonary metastasectomy. Our data suggest that patients with KRAS Mts are at high risk for early pulmonary recurrence and have a more diffuse pattern of metastasis. These findings may have impact on the therapeutic management of CRC patients with pulmonary spreading.
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