Marielle E. Yohe, MD, PhD, discusses the potential utility of targeting RAS mutations in pediatric cancers.
Marielle E. Yohe, MD, PhD, physician scientist early investigator, Pediatric Oncology Branch, principal, Molecular Signaling Section, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, discusses the potential utility of targeting RAS mutations in pediatric cancers.
RAS mutations are a cornerstone of targeted therapy research in many adult malignancies, such as pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer, Yohe says. However, the clinical significance of RAS mutations is largely unexplored in pediatric cancers, Yohe explains. In addition, RAS mutations have often been identified in pediatric patients with PAX-FOXO1 fusion negative rhabdomyosarcoma, Yohe adds.
As such, the potential clinical utility of targeting RAS mutations should not be underestimated in pediatric patients, especially since many of the common RAS isoforms seen in this patient subgroup are not commonly identified in adult patients, Yohe says. In addition, RAS mutations usually occur in embryonic tumors, or tumors characterized by failure in normal development, in pediatric patients, making them a promising area of research, Yohe concludes.