Gene Mutation Effects Should be Listed on Certain Cancer Drug Labels

The instructions on the cancer drugs Erbitux and Vecitibix should include specific information on a gene mutation that affects whether the medicines will work. Recent studies found that a mutation in the KRAS gene renders the drugs ineffective in colon cancer patients. Overall, the drugs reduced by 30 percent the risk of a patient’s colon cancer worsening. A more detailed analyses showed that patients with the specific KRAS mutation fared much worse than those with a normal KRAS gene. The FDA advisory panel said new types of analyses may be required to better screen people for gene mutations, and they also suggested larger clinical trials may be necessary to determine other biochemical influences on drug performance. The FDA is currently working to identify genes that interact with medications although they already require patients to undergo genetic testing before they’re prescribed certain drugs. To read the full story, click here.

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