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National Cancer Institute's 'RAS Project' Takes Aim at Common Cancer-Driving Protein

National Cancer Institute's 'RAS Project' Takes Aim at Common Cancer-Driving Protein | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is organizing a massive collaborative initiative between its laboratory and hundreds of outside researchers to discover cancer treatments targeting a class of genes called RAS genes and their products, RAS proteins. RAS genes, including their most common form, KRAS, are mutated in one-third of all cancers. Although the important role of RAS in cancer has been known for over 30 years, no treatments targeting RAS have been developed so far, because RAS proteins lack a 'binding site' where drugs could attack. However, recent research has uncovered potential weaknesses in RAS that future treatment might exploit. The NCI's RAS Project aims to 'crowdsource' the expertise of many researchers to better understand and tackle RAS.

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Science | June 24, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 26, 2013 4:03 AM

Science | June 24, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 26, 2013 1:19 PM

Science | June 24, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 26, 2013 1:19 PM

Science | June 24, 2013

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First Report that Vemurafenib Can Trigger Leukemia

A melanoma patient treated with vemurafenib also developed leukemia temporarily, according to a case report in The New England Journal of Medicine. This drug was already known to cause squamous cell skin cancers in some people with melanomas that have BRAF mutations. Vemurafenib activates proteins called extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK), which are involved in cell division and can lead to cancer in cells that have RAS mutations. The leukemia in the vemurafenib-treated patient had a RAS mutation and disappeared after treatment ended. The patient’s melanoma tumors, which did not have a RAS mutation, shrank during treatment.

 

Primary source: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1208958

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MedPage Today | Nov 8, 2012

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Viral Drug Helps Shrink Melanomas in Early Trial

Initial results of a phase II trial suggest that melanoma tumors shrink when treated with both chemotherapy and an experimental drug called Reolysin. Developed by the pharmaceutical firm Oncolytics Biotech, Reolysin is a virus that that doesn't harm healthy cells, but kills cancer cells with RAS mutations, which have defective antiviral defenses. The researchers treated 14 melanoma patients with the drug combination and found that tumors shrank in 3 of them and did not get bigger in 7 more. Next, the researchers will test Reolysin combined with drugs that target melanomas with BRAF mutations.

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Oncolytics Biotech│May 22, 2013

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