July 2, 2008

Clarient Introduces New Colorectal Cancer Test

Clarient has launched its new offering, Kras, which has been validated as a laboratory-developed test to be used as a predictive molecular biomarker for patients with colorectal cancer.

In colorectal cancers, EGF-receptors transmit a series of signals through a complex path of intracellular proteins. These signals ultimately instruct the cancer cell to undergo a transcription process leading to cancer progression. Anti-EGF-receptor therapies such as panitumumab and cetuximab work by blocking the activation of EGF-receptor. By blocking activation of the receptor, these drugs are successful in inhibiting downstream events that lead to malignant signaling.

Kras is located downstream of EGF-receptor and is a vital component in orchestrating this signaling process. It is now understood that mutations in the Kras gene impact the protein function such that its signaling process is always turned 'on', regardless of whether the EGFR has been activated or therapeutically inhibited. Mutations in the Kras genes have been detected in about 40% of metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Ron Andrews, CEO of Clarient, said: "Identifying the Kras mutation can help individual patients and their physicians understand the best way to manage their disease, assisting them in selecting the most appropriate therapy."