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KRAS as a Biomarker of Cancer

KRAS mutation is the most common in various human cancers. And has emerged as an important predictive biomarker in some of the common cancers such as CRC and NSCLC (Kriegshauser et al. 2010). KRAS may prove useful as a diagnostic biomarker to screen for early pancreatic cancer, and quantitative KRAS mutation analysis may be useful for distinguishing pancreatic cancer from other conditions such as chronic pancreatitis. It may serve as a biomarker for predicting response to EGFR-targeted therapy, and may also serve as a diagnostic and predictive biomarker for evolving therapies directed against mutant RAS proteins. However, multiplex approaches including other biomarkers should facilitate the identification of patients likely to respond to such therapies.

LigAmp for Detection of Gene Mutations in Cancer

LigAmp is a molecular tool designed to pinpoint DNA mutations among thousands of cells. The test works by creating a molecular “magnet” with an affinity for the point mutation. If the mutation is found, the magnet binds to it and inserts a bacterial gene. The bacterial gene serves as a red flag and produces a fluorescent color visible to powerful computer programs. Preliminary studies in a small number of cell lines and body fluids show the ultra-sensitive test may help detect microscopic cancer and HIV drug resistance. LigAmp essentially filters background ‘noise’ caused by normal cells and reveals specific mutations. It can form the basis of sensitive tests to locate mutations and identify cancer in patients at high-risk for the disease. Such tests could even help detect a recurrence of cancer by monitoring whether the number of mutations rises above a predetermined threshold value. Single mutations in colon cancer cells and mutations of the KRAS2 gene were detected in duct fluid samples from pancreatic cancer patients, which also corresponded to mutations found in their tumors.

 
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