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How BRAF V600E-Mutated CRC is Treated Differently Than Other Cancers

Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD
Published Online:10:04 PM, Thu March 19, 2020

Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and how it differs from other cancer regimens.

Kopetz says that the data in the CRC trials is looking at how to optimally treat patients. Patients with a BRAF V600E mutation should be treated in a different manner than other types of cancer, and that aggressive chemotherapy may be effective at first, but the duration of benefit from standard cytotoxic chemotherapy is less than what is seen in other patients with cancer, according to Kopetz.

Figuring out how to target the BRAF mutation directly is a key part of deciding on treatment. Kopetz thinks that this patient population is a distinct entity compared to others in oncology on a biologic level because of the precursor lesions, the polyps in the tumors, and the carcinogenic pathways activated are all different. The clinical outcomes are also different for patients with BRAF V600E-mutated CRC, which makes it a distinct subgroup of CRC.

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