KRAS-mutated tumors can respond to anti-EGFR therapy
Leuven – Researchers from Leuven University have demonstrated that German Merck’s monoclonal EGF receptor (EGFR) antagonist cetuximab (Erbitux) offers benefits to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer even when they carry K-RAS mutations (JAMA. 304(16):1812-1820). In a pooled data analysis of 579 patients with chemotherapy-refractory colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab between 2001 and 2008, they identified patients carrying a certain KRAS(p.G13D)-mutation who responded to the monoclonal antibody. The researchers found that among patients who received any cetuximab-based treatment (cetuximab monotherapy or cetuximab plus chemotherapy) (n = 571), overall and progression-free survival were significantly longer in patients with p.G13D-mutated tumours (overall survival: n=32; median [midpoint], 7.6 months; progression-free survival, n = 32; median, 4.0 months) than in patients with other KRAS-mutated tumors (overall survival: median, 5.7 months; progression-free survival: median, 1.9 months). It is the first demonstration that a minority of patients with KRAS-mutated tumors can respond to anti-EGFR therapy.