Colorectal cancer, breakthrough in a daily pill? Divarasib tests are good

Gianluca Riccio


In clinical trials, divarasib was effective in slowing the development of tumors in colorectal cancer, with manageable side effects and high tolerability.

There is a good step forward (yet another in a slow but inexorable path) in the field of oncology research. The drug divarasib emerges as a promising player in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.

This is a particularly relevant development for patients affected by the KRAS G12C genetic mutation, a variant that has historically presented significant therapeutic challenges. The recent combination of divarasib with an existing immunotherapy drug, cetuximab, has shown exceptional results.

KRAS G12C mutation? I'll try to explain myself better

To understand the significance of this discovery, it is essential to analyze the role of the KRAS G12C mutation in colorectal cancer. This specific mutation affects the behavior of cancer cells, making them more likely to divide uncontrollably and form tumors.

Given its particularly aggressive nature, colorectal cancer linked to this mutation is very complicated to deal with. Finding a remedy for this condition can mark a turning point in the treatment of this form of cancer.

Divarasib and colorectal cancer: research

The team at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Australia worked under the guidance of the Professor Jayesh Desai. And it revealed that the combination of divarasib with cetuximab had a notable impact, achieving a positive response rate of 62,5%.

It is a significant improvement compared to the results obtained with traditional treatments (which in some cases can record response rates of just 2%), and shows the effectiveness of divarasib in specifically targeting the genetic mutation underlying colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer

To be more precise

Treatment of colorectal cancer linked to the KRAS G12C mutation has traditionally included 5-FU, irinotecan, oxaliplatin, and/or capecitabine-based chemotherapies. However, these approaches have shown significant limitations, especially in terms of tumor-specific targeting and toxicity. Divarasib, in contrast, proved to be 50 times more specific and 20 times more potent than other agents currently used to treat this mutation, according to the data that emerged from a global Phase I trial conducted earlier this year.

Not just colorectal cancer

The results achieved by divarasib are not limited to colorectal cancer. The KRAS G12C mutation also plays a key role in other types of cancer, such as large cell lung cancer, where it is detected in 13% of patients.

This versatility of the drug opens the way to a wide range of potential applications, extending the hope of more effective treatments to a greater number of cancer patients.

Next steps

The story of divarasib and cetuximab is more than just a case of clinical success; represents a model for the future of oncology research. The targeted approach, treatment tolerability and pharmacological potency mark a significant change in the way cancer can be treated.

With the publication of the results in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine (I link them to you here), this research has gained wide international recognition, and can give us big surprises in the near future. We will follow it carefully.

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