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Virchows Arch. 2008 Nov;453(5):417-31. doi: 10.1007/s00428-008-0665-y. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

KRAS mutation testing for predicting response to anti-EGFR therapy for colorectal carcinoma: proposal for an European quality assurance program.

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Department of Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6500, HB, The Netherlands.

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  • Virchows Arch. 2009 Feb;454(2):233-5.


Novel therapeutic agents targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have improved outcomes for patients with colorectal carcinoma. However, these therapies are effective only in a subset of patients. Activating mutations in the KRAS gene are found in 30-40% of colorectal tumors and are associated with poor response to anti-EGFR therapies. Thus, KRAS mutation status can predict which patient may or may not benefit from anti-EGFR therapy. Although many diagnostic tools have been developed for KRAS mutation analysis, validated methods and standardized testing procedures are lacking. This poses a challenge for the optimal use of anti-EGFR therapies in the management of colorectal carcinoma. Here we review the molecular basis of EGFR-targeted therapies and the resistance to treatment conferred by KRAS mutations. We also present guideline recommendations and a proposal for a European quality assurance program to help ensure accuracy and proficiency in KRAS mutation testing across the European Union.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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