Cetuximab KRAS Testing

Cetuximab is a novel anticancer agent that inhibits the actions of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EGFR plays an important role in the growth, survival, and spread of some forms of cancer.

The KRAS gene encodes for small guanosine nucleotide-binding proteins that are important signal transducers for many cellular receptors, including EGFR. If there is a mutation in this KRAS gene, the drugs that inhibit EGFR, including cetuximab, fail to act. There are 7 possible mutations at the KRAS region and these are present on codons 12 and 13.

In July 2009, the United States Food and Drug Administration upgraded the labels of two approved EGFR antagonist monoclonal antibodies, cetuximab and panitumumab, to include information about KRAS mutations. These drugs are only effective in the non-mutated or "wild type" KRAS genotype.

KRAS mutational analysis can be performed in the laboratory using a variety of techniques such as allele-specific PCR, real-time PCR, and DNA sequencing. If KRAS gene mutation is detected in a patient, they are unlikely to respond to EGFR inhibitors such as cetuximab or panitumumab. Therefore, genetic testing for mutation is now performed routinely as part of standard practice, before such agents are administered.

Sixty percent of patients express wild type KRAS tumors and data demonstrates that there is a significantly greater likelihood of these patients benefitting from cetuximab therapy. Studies have shown significantly improved response and survival rates in patients with wild type KRAS tumors who added cetuximab to their chemotherapy regimen compared with those who received chemotherapy alone.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 19). Cetuximab KRAS Testing. News-Medical. Retrieved on February 29, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Cetuximab-KRAS-Testing.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Cetuximab KRAS Testing". News-Medical. 29 February 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Cetuximab-KRAS-Testing.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Cetuximab KRAS Testing". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Cetuximab-KRAS-Testing.aspx. (accessed February 29, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Cetuximab KRAS Testing. News-Medical, viewed 29 February 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Cetuximab-KRAS-Testing.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment