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Identification of Actionable Mutations Remains an Unmet Need in CRC

Gulam A. Manji, MD, PhD
Published Online:5:24 PM, Thu September 26, 2019

Gulam A. Manji, MD, PhD, director of Medical Oncology and Translational Research for The Pancreas Center at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, discusses the need to identify mutations that may be actionable in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The identification of such mutations can further impact patient survival and improve efficacy, says Manji, in both CRC and other gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

With the exception of the KRAS mutation, there is not a large proportion of patients with CRC harboring a certain mutation for which effective therapeutic options are available to target that mutation.

Treatments are available to treat patients with NTRK translocations, but these alterations are typically found in rarer diseases, and there is not a large proportion of patients with CRC or GI malignancies who harbor NTRK alterations. However, in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), which are generally mutation-negative, a percentage of patients do present with NTRK translocations. This may provide some additional efficacy in the treatment of patients with GIST harboring an NTRK translocation.

By identifying more mutations in larger proportions of patients with CRC, researchers can develop more effective therapies for patients with CRC or GI malignancies that will ultimately improve patient outcomes, says Manji.
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