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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Prognostic Implications of RAS Alterations in Diverse Malignancies and Impact of Targeted Therapies.

  • Author(s): Kato, Shumei
  • Okamura, Ryosuke
  • Sicklick, Jason K
  • Daniels, Gregory A
  • Hong, David S
  • Goodman, Aaron
  • Weihe, Elizabeth
  • Lee, Suzanna
  • Khalid, Noor
  • Collier, Rachel
  • Mareboina, Manvita
  • Riviere, Paul
  • Whitchurch, Theresa J
  • Fanta, Paul T
  • Lippman, Scott M
  • Kurzrock, Razelle
  • et al.

Published Web Location

RAS alterations are often found in difficult-to-treat malignancies and are considered "undruggable." To better understand the clinical correlates and co-altered genes of RAS alterations, we used targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze 1,937 patients with diverse cancers. Overall, 20.9% of cancers (405/1,937) harbored RAS alterations. Most RAS-altered cases had genomic co-alterations (95.3%, median: 3, range: 0-51), often involving genes implicated in oncogenic signals: PI3K pathway (31.4% of 405 cases), cell cycle (31.1%), tyrosine kinase families (21.5%) and MAPK signaling (18.3%). Patients with RAS-altered versus wild-type RAS malignancies had significantly worse overall survival (OS) (P=0.02 [multivariate]), with KRAS alterations in particular showing shorter survival. Moreover, co-alterations in both RAS and PI3K signaling or cell-cycle-associated genes correlated with worse OS (P=0.004 and P<0.0001, respectively [multivariate]). Among RAS-altered patients, MEK inhibitors alone did not impact progression-free survival (PFS), while matched targeted therapy against non-MAPK pathway co-alterations alone showed a trend towards longer PFS (versus patients who received unmatched therapy) (HR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.61-1.03, P=0.07). Three of 9 patients (33%) given tailored combination therapies targeting both MAPK and non-MAPK pathways achieved objective responses. In conclusion, RAS alterations correlated with poor survival across cancers. The majority of RAS alterations were accompanied by co-alterations impacting other oncogenic pathways. MEK inhibitors alone were ineffective against RAS-altered cancers while matched targeted therapy against co-alterations alone correlated with a trend toward improved PFS. A subset of the small number of patients given MEK inhibitors plus tailored non-MAPK-targeting agents showed responses, suggesting that customized combinations warrant further investigation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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