Monday, December 17, 2012

A pathway and chemo resistance

Continued research by Dr. Joanne Weidhaas  has resulted in  a recent journal article that further establishes the KRAS gene mutation as a predictor of poor outcomes and chemotherapy resistance for women with epithelial ovarian cancer. 

Let's step back a bit. 
The KRAS gene  is the "v-KI-ras2 Kirsten rate sarcoma viral oncogene homolog". So glad they use the KRAS abbreviation. It is also know as an oncogene because a change in its makeup can cause a cell to become cancerous.

The KRAS gene produces the KRAS protein which controls cell division. It is a  part of the signaling pathway RAS/MAPK . The protein signals whether or not the nucleus should divide or not.The KRAS protein acts like an on off switch . It is turned on when it binds with the molecule GTP. When it converts GTP to GDP  it is turned to an  off position . 

In the article
 "KRAS variant is a biomarker of poor outcome, platinum chemotherapy resistance and a potential target for therapy in ovarian cancer
The authors found that post menopausal women with the Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and this gene mutation were more likely to be platinum resistant and to die from the disease. This information  certainly opens the door to developing new treatment options for women with the mutation.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Sources :Genetics Home Reference a service of the US National Library of Medicine

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