Mutations in Kirsten rat-sarcoma (KRAS) are well appreciated to be major drivers of human cancers through dysregulation of multiple growth and survival pathways. Similar to many other non-kinase oncogenes and tumor suppressors, efforts to directly target KRAS pharmaceutically have not yet materialized. As a result, there is broad interest in an alternative approach to develop therapies that induce synthetic lethality in cancers with mutant KRAS, therefore exposing the particular vulnerabilities of these cancers. Fueling these efforts is our increased understanding into the biology driving KRAS mutant cancers, in particular the important pathways that mutant KRAS governs to promote survival. In this mini-review, we summarize the latest approaches to treat KRAS mutant cancers and the rationale behind them.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Kirsten rat-sarcoma; MEK; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; synthetic lethality.
© 2014 The Authors. Cancer Science published by Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.