The KRAS-variant is one of the first discovered members of a new class of genetic markers that predict increased cancer risk and unique treatment response to cancer therapy. The biology of the KRAS-variant affords great promise for both preventing and curing cancer in individuals with this inherited mutation.

 

 Personalized Medicine

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 for 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, which is currently being applied for 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 this class.  This information is currently especially critical for individuals with metastatic cancer, as this information should inform choices for palliative therapies.

The KRAS-variant and Women’s Health

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 i.e. 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 screening.

AT testing

MiraDx has a program to confirm a diagnosis of  Ataxia Telangiectasia in children, based on work from the Gatti laboratory spanning over 40 years.

Radiogenomics 

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.  MiraDx is developing a panel of such biomarkers, using germ-line, functional biomarkers such as the KRAS-variant.

FROM THE DECEMBER 2014 ISSUE

discover-mag

The Little-Known Genetic Mutation Behind Many Aggressive Cancers

Despite the dangers of the KRAS-variant mutation, few doctors have heard of it. But one researcher is trying to change that.

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