KRAS is a gene that encodes one of the several proteins in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway that is important in the development and progression of cancer. KRAS can harbor oncogenic mutations that yield a constitutively active protein. Such mutations are found in approximately 30% to 50% of metastatic colorectal tumors and are common in other tumor types. Mutations in the KRAS gene may indicate poor prognosis and poor drug response with therapies targeted to EGFR. The absence of a KRAS mutation predicts a greater likelihood of response to EGFR-targeted therapies and improved survival with such treatment. The relevant KRAS mutation is in one of five codons (12 13, 61, 117 or 146). The presence of KRAS mutations in codon 12, 13 or 61 is associated with a high likelihood of resistance to therapies targeting EGFR. However, preclinical studies have shown that G13D mutant cell lines have intermediate sensitivity to cetuximab and panitumumab. Results should be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical findings.
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