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.

 

Women’s Cancer Risk

Women with the KRAS-variant have up to a six-fold increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, as well as an increased risk of non-small cell lung cancer. New data indicates that changing estrogen levels and estrogen withdrawal increases or triggers cancer risk for women with this genetic mutation. In addition, women with the KRAS-variant appear to be at a significantly higher risk of multiple primary cancer, including multiple primary breast cancer. Knowing a woman’s KRAS-variant status is an additional piece of information to help direct decisions for screening, risk reduction and estrogen management.

Personalized Medicine

The KRAS-variant has been shown to significantly predict which medicines will and will not work for cancer patients. This information can subgroup patients into responders or non-responders to therapies being used today as standard of care. Knowing a patient’s KRAS-variant status affords the opportunity to personalize treatment and ultimately get better results. Currently work is ongoing to develop the best medicines to treat patients with the KRAS-variant.

Radiogenomics

Currently, there are no biomarkers used to identify patients who may be over-sensitive to radiation therapy, which is a treatment used for over 75% of cancer patients. MiraDx is developing a panel of such biomarkers, including the KRAS-variant, as well as preparing individual patient testing to diagnose those with ATM.

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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