Caris Life Sciences®, a leading biosciences company focused on fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine, will present a large international tumor profiling study of colorectal cancer (CRC) at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium this week in San Francisco, Calif. With more than 7,000 patients comprehensively profiled by Caris Molecular Intelligence™, this study represents the largest, multi-national analysis in a single laboratory setting of the main molecular anomalies in colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, with metastatic disease accounting for 40 to 50 percent of newly diagnosed patients.
"This comprehensive analysis of more than 7,000 patient cases illustrates that treatment of this cancer as one single disease is a flawed approach. The variety of mutations identified also point the way to new combinations of therapies and protein targets that can help direct future treatments," said Fadi Braiteh, M.D. and co-author on the study. "We are definitely moving from treating colon cancer as one disease to treating it as 20 to 30 different diseases. This research also highlights the feasibility of tumor profiling for colorectal cancer in the community setting, as well as establishes a high bar for standard of care for these patients."
This colorectal cancer study evaluated protein and DNA alterations in the EGFR pathway, including analysis of KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, ERBB4 and HER2 mutations/amplifications, as well as PTEN loss of expression and mutation in KRAS wild-type colorectal cancer patients. This dataset highlights the importance of the EGFR pathway in treating this disease by identifying a high frequency of specific and co-incident pathway alterations that have therapeutic implications.
"EGFR targeting therapies, cetuximab and panitumumab, are effective treatment for KRAS wild type CRC. Although mutations in KRAS predict resistance to EGFR Mab therapy, only 80 percent of CRC patients with KRAS wild type status respond to treatment," said Gargi Basu, Ph.D., from Caris Life Sciences and presenting author. "Testing for additional molecular alterations utilizing a multi-platform approach is critical to identifying those patients that are not likely to respond to anti-EGFR therapy alone and may respond better to a combination of targeted agents."