RAS and BRAF in metastatic colorectal cancer management

Jun Gong, May Cho, Marwan Fakih

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has been further refined with the development of monoclonal antibodies, cetuximab and panitumumab, towards the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Anti-EGFR therapy has afforded improved survival in those with wild-type RAS mCRC but provides no benefit and even harm in those with RAS-mutant tumors. BRAF mutations have also been shown to predict lack of clinically meaningful benefit to anti-EGFR therapy in mCRC. Mechanisms of resistance to EGFR blockade in wild-type RAS or BRAF metastatic colorectal tumors appear to converge on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Clinical trials involving combined BRAF, EGFR, and/or MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibition have shown promising activity in BRAF-mutant mCRC. Here, we review pivotal clinical trials that have redefined our treatment approach in mCRC with respect to anti-EGFR therapy based on RAS and BRAF mutation status. Future studies will likely focus on improving efficacy of anti-EGFR-based therapy in mCRC through sustained MAPK pathway inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-704
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • BRAF
  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer (CRC)
  • Panitumumab
  • RAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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