Dr. Yohe on the Potential to Target RAS Mutations in Pediatric Cancers

Marielle E. Yohe, MD, PhD

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, head, Molecular Signaling Section, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, discusses the potential utility of targeting RAS mutations in pediatric cancers.

RAS mutations have been a cornerstone of targeted therapy research in many adult malignancies, such as pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer, says Yohe. However, the clinical significance of RAS mutations is largely unexplored in pediatric cancers, Yohe explains. Moreover, RAS mutations have been commonly 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 undervalued in pediatric patients, particularly because many of the common RAS isoforms observed in this patient subgroup are not commonly identified in adult patients, Yohe says. Additionally, RAS mutations tend to occur in embryonal tumors, or tumors marked by a failure in normal development, in pediatric patients, which makes them a promising area of research, concludes Yohe.