Currently, there are no biomarkers applied before radiation therapy treatment to identify patients who have different sensitivities to radiation therapy. As this treatment is used in over 67% of cancer patients there is a strong need to make strides towards personalizing radiotherapy. MiraDx is developing a panel of such biomarkers, using their novel, proprietary germ-line, functional biomarkers, such as the KRAS-variant.
The KRAS-variant is a biomarker that alone has been shown to significantly predict sensitivity and resistance to specific cancer treatments, regardless of tumor type. This information can subgroup patients into responders or non-responders to therapies being used today. In addition, recent work has shown that the KRAS-variant is a strong biomarker of baseline immune status and inflammatory response. This has led us to apply the KRAS-variant and a panel of biomarkers like it to developing immunotherapies. Currently work is ongoing to develop the best approaches to treat cancer patients with the KRAS-variant, as well as with other mutations in its class. Application of this class of biomarkers is a significant leap forward in personalizing cancer therapy.
As shown in numerous independent studies, women with the KRAS-variant are at an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and multiple primary breast cancer. Recent data now indicates that changing estrogen levels, specifically estrogen withdrawal, can trigger cancer in women with the KRAS-variant. Knowing a woman’s KRAS-variant status is an additional piece of critically important information to help direct decisions for estrogen management, as well as primary and secondary cancer screening.
MiraDx has a program to confirm a diagnosis of Ataxia Telangiectasia in children, based on work from the Gatti laboratory spanning over 40 years.
Despite the dangers of the KRAS-variant mutation, few doctors have heard of it. But one researcher is trying to change that.