Inhibition of Ras for cancer treatment: the search continues

Future Med Chem. 2011 Oct;3(14):1787-808. doi: 10.4155/fmc.11.121.


The RAS oncogenes (HRAS, NRAS and KRAS) comprise the most frequently mutated class of oncogenes in human cancers (33%), thus stimulating intensive effort in developing anti-Ras inhibitors for cancer treatment. Despite intensive effort, to date, no effective anti-Ras strategies have successfully made it to the clinic. We present an overview of past and ongoing strategies to inhibit oncogenic Ras in cancer. Since approaches to directly target mutant Ras have not been successful, most efforts have focused on indirect approaches to block Ras membrane association or downstream effector signaling. While inhibitors of effector signaling are currently under clinical evaluation, genome-wide unbiased genetic screens have identified novel directions for future anti-Ras drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Genes, ras
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras) / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras)