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The drug vemurafenib has been successful in treating advanced melanomas with BRAF mutations, but was surprisingly unsuccessful in treating colon cancers with the same mutations, says Nature News' Heidi Ledford. A new study in Nature may shed some light on why colon cancer has resisted this drug, and may also offer answers as to how to get around that resistance. To examine the problem, researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute used an RNAi screen, and found that colon cells with BRAF mutations became sensitive to vemurafenib only after the expression of EGFR was knocked down, Ledford says. "In fact, treatment with vemurafenib activated EGFR in colon tumors, but not in melanoma, where EGFR is expressed only at low levels," she adds. This finding could mean that coupling EGFR inhibitors with vemurafenib may work to treat the 8 percent to 10 percent of colon cancers with a BRAF mutation.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more