RAS: target for cancer therapy

Cancer Invest. 2008 Nov;26(9):948-55. doi: 10.1080/07357900802087275.


The RAS protein controls signaling pathway are major player in cell growth, its regulation and malignant transformation. Any activation in RAS brings alteration in upstream or downstream signaling component. Activating mutation in RAS is found in approximately 30% of human cancer. RAS plays essential role in tumor maintenance and is therefore an appropriate target for anticancer therapy. Among the anti-RAS strategies that are under evaluation in the clinic are pharmacologic inhibitors designed to prevent: (1) association with the plasma membrane (prenylation and post prenylation inhibitors). (2) Downstream signaling (kinase inhibitor), (3) upstream pathway (kinase inhibitor and monoclonal antibody), (4) Expression of RAS or other component of pathway (siRNA and antisense oligonucleotide). Several of these new therapeutic agents are showing promising result in the clinic and many more are on the way. Here, we review the current status and new hopes for targeting RAS as an anticancer drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • ras Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ras Proteins / genetics
  • ras Proteins / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • ras Proteins