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Conquering Cancer’s Infamous KRAS Mutation

May 14, 2019 / Sanford Burnham Prebys

KRAS is one of the most challenging targets in cancer. Despite its discovery more than 60 years, researchers still struggle to inhibit its mutated form–earning its reputation as “undruggable.” Yet, the hunt for an Achilles’ heel continues, as cancers driven by KRAS mutations are both common and deadly. Now, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys and PHusis Therapeutics have shown that a compound called PHT-7.3 shrinks KRAS-driven tumors in mice. In contrast to directly targeting mutant KRAS, the potential drug candidate targets the protein’s partner in crime: the cellular scaffold to which mutated KRAS attaches. The study was published in Cancer Research. “Researchers have successfully developed personalized therapies for other mutations known to drive cancer growth, such as EGFR and BRAF. However, KRAS has remained infamously elusive,” says Garth Powis, D.Phil, senior author of the paper, director of Sanford Burnham Prebys’ NCI-designate...