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NCCN Recommends Testing for KRAS Mutation Before Treating Colorectal Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has updated its guidelines to recommend that oncologists determine the KRAS gene status of either a primary tumor or a metastasizing site as part of pre-treatment work-up for patients diagnosed with colon cancer.
The NCCN, a non-profit organization comprising 21 cancer centers, also recommended that only those patients with tumors characterized by the wild-type KRAS gene be treated with certain epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor drugs including Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Erbitux and Amgen's Vectibix.
NCNN said that the recommendations in its updated Colon and Rectal Cancer Guidelines were in response to “a number of recent studies” showing that the KRAS gene status can help predict the outcome of anti-EGFR therapies.
For example, at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in June, researchers from the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, Belgium, discussed a 587-patient study that found that 59.3 percent of patients with the wild-type KRAS gene responded to treatment with Erbitux and chemotherapy, compared to 43.2 percent of patients who responded to chemotherapy alone.
Diagnostic tests for KRAS status are currently made by DxS, TrimGen, Response Genetics, and Caris Diagnostics.

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