Determination of tumor molecular biology is going to advance cancer care within a decade. Margonis and colleagues1 have shown how. As found in primary cancer, the prognosis of patients undergoing resection of colorectal liver metastases is associated with specific gene mutations of the tumors. The genes in question are in the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue family (ie, KRAS on the short arm of chromosome 12) that code for cell division regulatory pathways via guanosine triphosphate and mitogen-activated protein kinase. As its name suggests, the pathway was originally mapped in another tumor type but somatic (rather than inherited) mutations in the KRAS genes are found in many human tumors.
Winter D. Colorectal Liver Metastasis Resection Outcomes Defined by Molecular Biology. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(8):729. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1062
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