Analysis of Mutations in K-ras and p53 Genes in Sputum and Plasma Samples

  • Lifang Zhang
  • Weimin Gao
  • Phouthone KeohavongEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2102)


Sputum and plasma can provide noninvasive materials to investigate biomarkers for cancer detection and diagnosis. Mutations in the K-ras oncogene and p53 suppressor gene have been frequently found in sputum and plasma samples collected not only from lung cancer patients but also in those of patients prior to presenting clinical symptoms of lung cancer, suggesting that they may also provide useful biomarkers from early lung cancer diagnosis. However, the detection of these mutations has been complicated by the fact that they often occur in only a small fraction of epithelial cells among sputum cells, and of cell-free DNA present in plasma. This chapter describes methods to isolate low fraction epithelial cells from sputum and cell-free DNA from plasma samples obtained from lung cancer patients and to identify low fraction K-ras and p53 mutations in these samples.

Key words

Lung cancer Sputum Plasma K-ras and p53 mutations 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public HealthWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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