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KRAS testing officially recommended for colon cancer

Executive Summary

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is the first to officially release a clinical opinion that patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who are candidates for anti-EGFR therapy should have their tumors tested for KRAS gene mutations. Patients with mutated forms of the KRAS gene should not use anti-EGFR therapy, based on recent studies indicating that the treatment is only effective in patient with the wild-type form of the KRAS gene, the opinion states. While many in industry and government and non-government health care have touted the benefit of tumor testing, the society's Provisional Clinical Opinion, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first to directly recommend it. It is estimated that 40 percent of patients with colon cancer have the KRAS mutation. The opinion was first made public at the American Gastrointestinal Association in January, where another study was presented showing that routine KRAS testing could save the U.S. health care system up to $604 million
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