Diagnostic test helps select colorectal patients

EARLY diagnosis is an important tool in the treatment of many cancers, but is not by itself enough to identify the patients that will respond to a specific treatment. A new step towards personalised medicine for colorectal cancer patients is offered by Randox, with its KRAS/BRAF/PIK3CA array which helps clinicians select appropriate patients for anti-EGFR therapy.

It has been discovered in recent years that patients with mutations in the KRAS gene do not respond to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) therapy, while those without the mutation may respond. Oncogenic mutations in other genes may also be associated with resistance to EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies (moAbs); specifically mutations in BRAF6 and PIK3CA7 genes are reported to affect patient response.

Randox say the KRAS/BRAF/PIK3CA array provides rapid qualitative detection of point mutations within these genes from tissue DNA. The array offers a protocol and reagents specially optimised for the molecular laboratory, and is compatible with a range of genomic DNA input and types including cell lines, FFPE tissue, and fresh or frozen tissues. Results are obtained in three hours from a single DNA sample.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide, with metastatic CRC (mCRC) accounting for 30-40 percent of newly diagnosed patients. mCRC is associated with high morbidity, and prognosis remains poor. This new array helps to identify the subset of patients with mCRC who may clinically benefit from EGFR-targeted moAbs, allowing correct treatment to begin early while avoiding the extra costs and adverse side effects associated with administrating ineffective treatment.

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