Testing for KRAS mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer patients helps select candidates for anti-epidermal growth factor (EGFR) therapy. While this treatment increases survival, it may be a modest boost given the associated price-tag, according to healthcare analysts. Testing itself lowers costs, yet the savings may not render anti-EGFR therapy cost-effective, they argue. But the true financial benefit of molecular testing could be in the long-term savings generated by culling patients with KRAS mutations who simply won't benefit for anti-EGFR treatment, countered doctors in an accompanying editorial.
RESULT: KRAS and BRAF Mutation Screening in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Costly in Relation to Benefits
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Dec 4, 2012 (FREE FULL TEXT)
RESULT: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Screening for KRAS and BRAF Mutations in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Dec 4, 2012 (Free abstract. Full text $32)
Detecting KRAS mutations in metastatic colon cancer is fine, but wouldn't a superior test be one that results in a full-blown gene expression profile, characterizing tumors activated by KRAS, BRAF, or PI3KCA mutations? Here, international researchers describe how they developed genetic models that go beyond a single mutation to trace a combined oncogenic pathway signature – a pathway that has the potential to more accurately predict which patients will respond to costly EGFR therapy.
RESULT: A combined oncogenic pathway signature of BRAF, KRAS and PI3KCA mutation improves colorectal cancer classification
Gut | Nov 12, 2012 (Free abstract. Full text $30)