Michael Kim, MD, on Genetics and the Need for Novel Therapies in Pancreatic Cancer

Kim detailed the specifics of his research from the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021 focusing on novel therapies to target mutations and upstream or downstream pathways.

Michael Kim, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, spoke with CancerNetwork® at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021 about the need for more novel therapies to target KRAS and p53 mutations effectively for patients with pancreatic cancer.


What I would say is, both of these targets need novel therapies. The only way we’re going to make better strides in the treatment of pancreatic cancer is by addressing the underlying problem, which is fundamentally genetics and [proteins encoded by mutant genes]. It not only emphasizes the need to target these [mutations] and critical upstream and downstream pathways, but I also think it gives reasons for why we see such dominance of oncogenic KRAS and mutant TP53 in pancreatic cancer. There’s a reason why over 90% of [patients with] pancreatic cancer have oncogenic KRAS and 70% have altered TP53. And that’s it, those are the main ones. So, if we can find really good ways to target those pathways, or those proteins, then that will make some huge strides in fighting pancreatic cancer.


Kim MP, Li X, Deng J, et al. Mutant p53 and oncogenic KRAS converge on CREB1 to drive pancreatic cancer metastasis. Presented at: AACR Annual Meeting 2021; April 10-15, 2021; virtual. Abstract 2417.