454 next generation-sequencing outperforms allele-specific PCR, Sanger sequencing, and pyrosequencing for routine KRAS mutation analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples.
Detection of KRAS mutations in archival pathology samples is critical for therapeutic appropriateness of anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies in colorectal cancer. We compared the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of Sanger sequencing, ARMS-Scorpion (TheraScreen®) real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), pyrosequencing, chip array hybridization, and 454 next-generation sequencing to assess KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutations in 60 nonconsecutive selected cases of colorectal cancer. Twenty of the 60 cases were detected as wild-type KRAS by all methods with 100% specificity. Among the 40 mutated cases, 13 were discrepant with at least one method. The sensitivity was 85%, 90%, 93%, and 92%, and the accuracy was 90%, 93%, 95%, and 95% for Sanger sequencing, TheraScreen real-time PCR, pyrosequencing, and chip array hybridization, respectively. The main limitation of Sanger sequencing was its low analytical sensitivity, whereas TheraScreen real-time PCR, pyrosequencing, and chip array hybridization showed higher sensitivity but suffered from the limitations of predesigned assays. Concordance between the methods was k = 0.79 for Sanger sequencing and k > 0.85 for the other techniques. Tumor cell enrichment correlated significantly with the abundance of KRAS-mutated deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), evaluated as ?Ct for TheraScreen real-time PCR (P = 0.03), percentage of mutation for pyrosequencing (P = 0.001), ratio for chip array hybridization (P = 0.003), and percentage of mutation for 454 next-generation sequencing (P = 0.004). Also, 454 next-generation sequencing showed the best cross correlation for quantification of mutation abundance compared with all the other methods (P < 0.001). Our comparison showed the superiority of next-generation sequencing over the other techniques in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Next-generation sequencing will replace Sanger sequencing as the reference technique for diagnostic detection of KRAS mutation in archival tumor tissues.