Exiqon has introduced BRAF Mutation Analysis for predicting therapeutic response in colorectal cancer patients. Cancer treating physicians now have access to this critical test for their advanced stage colorectal cancer patients who are candidates for anti-EGFR targeted therapy. A recent clinical study correlates the presence of BRAF mutations in colorectal cancer tumors with lack of patient response to cetuximab and panitumumab therapy.
In the US, there are approximately 150,000 new colorectal cancer cases diagnosed each year. Many of these patients may present with advanced disease. In those cases, confirmed BRAF mutation status is important information for physicians to have when deciding on a treatment regimen.
Results of the BRAF Mutation Analysis can help oncologists determine if their colorectal cancer patients are appropriate candidates for cetuximab or panitumumab therapy.
BRAF testing is important because it can identify the subset of colorectal cancer patients who do not have a mutated KRAS gene yet still do not respond to anti-EGFR therapy. Non-responsiveness in this subset of patients is most likely due to the V600E mutation in the BRAF gene. Testing patients for both KRAS and BRAF provides a more complete analysis of the patient’s tumor when evaluating candidates for anti-EGFR therapy.
“We are pleased to offer both BRAF and KRAS mutation testing for our clients so that they may gain a more complete picture of the patient’s tumor before targeted therapy is initiated,” said Doug Harrington, M.D., Medical Director, Exiqon Diagnostics. “BRAF Mutation Analysis is an important new molecular diagnostic assay that can help physicians determine which advanced stage colorectal cancer patients are appropriate candidates for treatment with cetuximab or panitumumab. Those patients who have the BRAF mutation would most likely not respond and should not be treated with those ineffective and expensive anti-EGFR agents.”
BRAF Mutation Analysis enhances the growing molecular diagnostics test menu available at Exiqon Diagnostics. Additional targeted molecular profiling assays are currently in development and will be launched later this year to help physicians more effectively guide treatment decisions. BRAF testing is just one of the many molecular biomarkers available to help physicians personalize therapeutic treatment plans.