Experts Describe Challenges of Targeting BRAF Mutations in CRC

Published: Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017
Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD

Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD
Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD, FACP, and Rona D. Yaeger, MD, are involved in research at the cutting edge of colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment, including clinical trials of novel therapeutic strategies for BRAF-mutant disease.

, the doctors discussed the current treatment landscape and other key issues relating to this distinct subset of CRC.

How do CRC tumors with the most common type of BRAF mutations, V600, differ from those without?

Bekaii-Saab: These tumors tend to be more aggressive with a high propensity for diffuse metastasis including a high proportion of peritoneal involvement. They tend to respond poorly to doublet chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab.

Microsatellite instability in BRAF V600E CRCs is associated with advanced age, female gender, proximal primary tumor site, and poor tumor differentiation.

What about other types of BRAF mutations? How might these transform clinical practice?

Bekaii-Saab: Interestingly, compared with the V600E mutations, the BRAF non-V600E mutations are associated with a very good prognosis and a much better outcome overall. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology confirmed these findings.1
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