Cancer drugs are closing in on some of the deadliest mutations

Heidi Ledford in Nature:

On 12 September, Amgen announced that the latest trial of sotorasib found that it extended progression-free survival — a measure of the time elapsed without the cancer worsening — only by about one month longer than standard chemotherapy. Only 28% of the participants treated with sotorasib responded to it. That’s roughly twice the number who responded to the standard chemotherapy, but a sign nonetheless that most people who have KRAS-positive lung cancers will not be helped by the new drug.

Even so, the pace of KRAS research and the pursuit of KRAS-targeting drugs has never been so energized, says cancer biologist Channing Der at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The first glimpse of success has shown that it is possible to drug the ‘undruggable’ KRAS, and now researchers in academia and industry are developing ways to improve their approach. “I have never seen this level of excitement and buzz in the entire history of the field,” he says. “The level now is insane.”

More here.