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Pancreas Cancer

kras was posted 02/28/2012 10:12 pm by Anonymous
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k-ras is a gene that encodes for a growth factor. The 'mutation' that most people are referring to is a mutation that makes this gene overactive, contributing to unregulated cell growth, and cancer. It also seems to correlate with patients that are not going to respond to the inhibitors of the EGFR pathway (ex. Tarceva). k-ras mutations in a sense 'rescue' cancer cells that have the EGFR pathway blocked (also a growth pathway), so they keep growing.

This is well studied in lung cancer. Patients WITHOUT k-ras mutations are treated with Tarceva. This is less well studied in PC, but it appears to be a similar association.

So for my mom, when her cancer was tested and was found to have the k-ras mutation, we did use Tarceva. This is definitely NOT followed by all physicians because it hasn't been well studied with PC yet, and there are fewer chemos for PC available to try.

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