KRAS testing

The assay can identify KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, BRAF, and EGFR gene mutations, as well as 19 gene rearrangements of the ALK, ROS1, RET, NTRK1, and MET genes from FFPE.

The recent study highlights strengths and weaknesses of numerous platforms and may help end users choose the best assay for their circumstances.

The test detects 21 relevant mutations in the KRAS oncogene including mutations in exons 2, 3, and 4. 

The test helps to identify metastatic colorectal cancer patients for whom treatment with Erbitux (cetuximab) or Vectibix (panitumumab) may be effective because their tumors carry no KRAS mutations.

The customizable PCR plates may also be less expensive than the FDA-approved Therascreen kits.

Transgenomic announced this week that it has signed an agreement with Amgen to develop an IVD test to identify NRAS and KRAS mutated patients with advanced colorectal cancer using its RAScan kits.

Momentum from the 2011 launch of two highly anticipated personalized medicine cancer treatments — Pfizer's Xalkori and Roche's Zelboraf — continued to spur pharmaceutical companies and test makers to engage in drug and diagnostic codevelopment collaborations throughout 2012.

After a survey of UK oncologists revealed that access hurdles and high costs associated with biomarker testing are limiting their ability to prescribe personalized treatments, Merck Serono has issued a "call to action" for the government and pharmaceutical industry to work togeth

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Consulting company McKinsey says diagnostics companies will have to combine genomic data analysis, electronic medical records, effective reimbursement strategies, and regulatory compliance in order to win.

A new report has found that researchers in Africa are still heavily dependent on funding from organizations in the US, Europe, and China, Nature News says.

An article in The Atlantic argues that the progress being made in science isn't keeping pace with the money and time being spent on research.

In Science this week: a CRISPR screen identifies sideroflexin 1 as a requisite component of one-carbon metabolism, and more.