Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Association between coffee drinking and K-ras mutations in exocrine pancreatic cancer. PANKRAS II Study Group.
  1. M Porta,
  2. N Malats,
  3. L Guarner,
  4. A Carrato,
  5. J Rifà,
  6. A Salas,
  7. J M Corominas,
  8. M Andreu,
  9. F X Real
  1. Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Barcelona, Spain.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE: To analyse the relation between coffee consumption and mutations in the K-ras gene in exocrine pancreatic cancer. DESIGN: Case-case study. Consumption of coffee among cases with the activating mutation in the K-ras gene was compared with that of cases without the mutation. SETTING AND PATIENTS: All cases of pancreatic cancer newly diagnosed at five hospitals in Spain during three years were included in the PANKRAS II Study (n = 185, of whom 121 whose tissue was available for molecular analysis are the object of the present report). Over 88% were personally interviewed in hospital. DNA was amplified from paraffin wax embedded tissues, and mutations in codon 12 of K-ras were detected by the artificial RFLP technique. MAIN RESULTS: Mutations were found in tumours from 94 of 121 patients (77.7%). Mutations were more common among regular coffee drinkers than among non-regular coffee drinkers (82.0% v 55.6%, p = 0.018, n = 107). The odds ratio adjusted by age, sex, smoking and alcohol drinking was 5.41 (95% CI 1.64, 17.78). The weekly intake of coffee was significantly higher among patients with a mutated tumour (mean of 14.5 cups/week v 8.8 among patients with a wild type tumour, p < 0.05). With respect to non-regular coffee drinkers, the odds ratio of a mutated tumour adjusted by age, sex, smoking and alcohol drinking was 3.26 for drinkers of 2-7 cups/week, 5.77 for drinkers of 8-14 cups/week and 9.99 for drinkers of > or = 15 cups/week (p < 0.01, test for trend). CONCLUSIONS: Pancreatic cancer cases without activating mutations in the K-ras gene had drank significantly less coffee than cases with a mutation, with a significant dose response relation: the less they drank, the less likely their tumours were to harbour a mutation. In exocrine pancreatic cancer the K-ras gene may be activated less often among non-regular coffee drinkers than among regular drinkers. Caffeine, other coffee compounds or other factors with which coffee drinking is associated may modulate K-ras activation.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.