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Has Major Cancer Gene Met Its Match?

By Samantha Bussell / Nov 18, 2017

When working on targeted therapeutic drug development in oncology, tumor mutation heterogeneity makes it difficult to treat all patients. However, there is one biomarker that has been found to affect 30% of all tumor cases- the RAS mutation. The abundance of this genomic abnormality was discovered via the ongoing investigations into targeted RAS cancer therapies. Researchers thus have been working to find a method to block the RAS pathway in all tumors, with the desired outcome to treat all patients regardless of differing cancer subtype.

Investigators at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have identified a method to block the well-known mutations of the RAS gene family across tissue types  (K-RAS, H-RAS, and N-RAS) by creating a synthetic binding protein coined “NS1 monobody”. The advantages of using a monobody versus an antibody are that they are not dependent on environmental conditions and can readily be used as genetically encoded inhibitors. Researchers found that NS1 bound to areas not previously known for oncogenic activity, blocking the ability of the protein to form molecular pairs.

Does this finding impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples with RAS associated mutation data? BioIVT offers FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for mutations relevant to cancer research. These specimens are available for immediate shipment and include tumors with both mutated and wild-type status. Furthermore, donor-matched serums and plasmas are also available. Contact us to see how we can help.

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