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Expand Collapse Colorectal Cancer  - General Description A cancer that begins in the colon is often called colon cancer and a cancer that begins in the rectum is often called rectal cancer, but sometimes the term colorectal cancer is used for a cancer that begins in either place. This year about 132,700 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum. However, nearly 1.1 million remain alive today after having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. In the colon, which accounts for most of the length of the large intestine, water and nutrients are extracted from partly-digested food before the food is turned into waste. The waste then enters the rectum before being pushed out of the body, leaving via the short anal canal and the anus (cancers also develop in the anus and anal canal, but they aren't classified as colorectal cancers). Most colon cancers and rectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, tumors that begin in gland-like cells lining the colon or rectum. Other types of cancerous tissues account for only 2% to 5% of colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer (and other tumors) can spread (metastasize) from the place where it started (the primary tumor) in 3 ways. First, it can invade the normal tissue surrounding it. Second, cancer cells can enter the lymph system and travel through lymph vessels to distant parts of the body. Third, the cancer cells can get into the bloodstream and go to other places in the body. In these distant places, the colon/rectal cancer cells cause secondary tumors to grow. The main sites to which colorectal cancer spreads are the liver, lungs and peritoneum. To find out whether the cancer has entered the lymph system, a surgeon removes all or part of a node near the primary tumor and a pathologist examines it to see if cancer cells are present. Several kinds of imaging also can be performed to determine if the cancer has spread. These include chest x-rays, MRI, CT scans and PET scans.

The FDA has approved several targeted therapies for treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. These include bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (Erbitux), panitumumab (Vectibix) and ziv-afibercept (Zaltrap).

Despite significant improvements in the treatment of colorectal cancers, novel therapies and treatment strategies are needed.

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2015
The prognosis of patients with colon cancer is clearly related to the degree of tumor penetration through the bowel wall, the presence or absence of nodal involvement, and the presence or absence of distant metastases. These three characteristics form the basis for all staging systems developed for this disease. Bowel obstruction and bowel perforation are indicators of poor prognosis. Elevated pretreatment serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) have a negative prognostic significance. The American Joint Committee on Cancer and a National Cancer Institute-sponsored panel recommended that at least 12 lymph nodes be examined in patients with colon and rectal cancer to confirm the absence of nodal involvement by tumor. This recommendation takes into consideration that the number of lymph nodes examined is a reflection of the aggressiveness of lymphovascular mesenteric dissection at the time of surgical resection and the pathologic identification of nodes in the specimen. Retrospective studies demonstrated that the number of lymph nodes examined in colon and rectal surgery may be associated with patient outcome.

Many other prognostic markers have been evaluated retrospectively for patients with colon cancer, though most have not been prospectively validated (including allelic loss of chromosome 18q or thymidylate synthase expression). Microsatellite instability, also associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), has been associated with improved survival (independent of tumor stage) in a population-based series of 607 patients younger than 50 years of age with colorectal cancer. Treatment decisions generally depend on factors such as physician/patient preferences and the stage of the disease, rather than the age of the patient. Racial differences in overall survival after adjuvant therapy have been observed (although not in disease-free survival), suggesting that comorbid conditions play a role in survival outcome in different patient populations.

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2012
A cancer that begins in the colon is often called colon cancer and a cancer that begins in the rectum is often called rectal cancer, but sometimes the term colorectal cancer is used for a cancer that begins in either place. This year about 132,700 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum. However, nearly 1.1 million remain alive today after having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. In the colon, which accounts for most of the length of the large intestine, water and nutrients are extracted from partly-digested food before the food is turned into waste. The waste then enters the rectum before being pushed out of the body, leaving via the short anal canal and the anus (cancers also develop in the anus and anal canal, but they aren't classified as colorectal cancers). Most colon cancers and rectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, tumors that begin in gland-like cells lining the colon or rectum. Other types of cancerous tissues account for only 2% to 5% of colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer (and other tumors) can spread (metastasize) from the place where it started (the primary tumor) in 3 ways. First, it can invade the normal tissue surrounding it. Second, cancer cells can enter the lymph system and travel through lymph vessels to distant parts of the body. Third, the cancer cells can get into the bloodstream and go to other places in the body. In these distant places, the colon/rectal cancer cells cause secondary tumors to grow. The main sites to which colorectal cancer spreads are the liver, lungs and peritoneum. To find out whether the cancer has entered the lymph system, a surgeon removes all or part of a node near the primary tumor and a pathologist examines it to see if cancer cells are present. Several kinds of imaging also can be performed to determine if the cancer has spread. These include chest x-rays, MRI, CT scans and PET scans.

The FDA has approved several targeted therapies for treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. These include bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (Erbitux), panitumumab (Vectibix) and ziv-afibercept (Zaltrap).

Despite significant improvements in the treatment of colorectal cancers, novel therapies and treatment strategies are needed.

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2015
The prognosis of patients with colon cancer is clearly related to the degree of tumor penetration through the bowel wall, the presence or absence of nodal involvement, and the presence or absence of distant metastases. These three characteristics form the basis for all staging systems developed for this disease. Bowel obstruction and bowel perforation are indicators of poor prognosis. Elevated pretreatment serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) have a negative prognostic significance. The American Joint Committee on Cancer and a National Cancer Institute-sponsored panel recommended that at least 12 lymph nodes be examined in patients with colon and rectal cancer to confirm the absence of nodal involvement by tumor. This recommendation takes into consideration that the number of lymph nodes examined is a reflection of the aggressiveness of lymphovascular mesenteric dissection at the time of surgical resection and the pathologic identification of nodes in the specimen. Retrospective studies demonstrated that the number of lymph nodes examined in colon and rectal surgery may be associated with patient outcome.

Many other prognostic markers have been evaluated retrospectively for patients with colon cancer, though most have not been prospectively validated (including allelic loss of chromosome 18q or thymidylate synthase expression). Microsatellite instability, also associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), has been associated with improved survival (independent of tumor stage) in a population-based series of 607 patients younger than 50 years of age with colorectal cancer. Treatment decisions generally depend on factors such as physician/patient preferences and the stage of the disease, rather than the age of the patient. Racial differences in overall survival after adjuvant therapy have been observed (although not in disease-free survival), suggesting that comorbid conditions play a role in survival outcome in different patient populations.

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2012
Expand Collapse BRAF  - General Description
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The BRAF gene encodes for a serine/threonine kinase that activates the growth-promoting MAP kinase signaling cascade. BRAF is commonly activated by somatic point mutations in human cancers, most frequently by mutations located within the kinase domain at amino acid positions G466, G469, L597 and V600.

In regards to treatment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vemurafenib for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma patients harboring specifically the BRAF V600E mutation, as detected by an FDA-approved test. In addition, there are a growing number of targeted agents that are being evaluated for the treatment of various BRAF-mutant advanced cancers, including other RAF kinase inhibitors and/or MEK inhibitors. Recently, the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib with the MEK inhibitor trametinib was approved by FDA for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations.

Tumor mutation profiling performed clinically at the MGH Cancer Center has identified the highest incidence of BRAF mutations in thyroid cancer (30-40%), melanoma (20-30%) and colon cancer (10-15%).

Source: Genetics Home Reference
The BRAF gene encodes for a serine/threonine kinase that activates the growth-promoting MAP kinase signaling cascade. BRAF is commonly activated by somatic point mutations in human cancers, most frequently by mutations located within the kinase domain at amino acid positions G466, G469, L597 and V600.

In regards to treatment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vemurafenib for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma patients harboring specifically the BRAF V600E mutation, as detected by an FDA-approved test. In addition, there are a growing number of targeted agents that are being evaluated for the treatment of various BRAF-mutant advanced cancers, including other RAF kinase inhibitors and/or MEK inhibitors. Recently, the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib with the MEK inhibitor trametinib was approved by FDA for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations.

Tumor mutation profiling performed clinically at the MGH Cancer Center has identified the highest incidence of BRAF mutations in thyroid cancer (30-40%), melanoma (20-30%) and colon cancer (10-15%).

Source: Genetics Home Reference
PubMed ID's
12068308, 15947100, 20401974, 20425073, 21606968
Expand Collapse V600R (c.1798_1799GT>AG)  in BRAF
The BRAF V600R mutation arises from a double nucleotide change (c.1798_1799GT>AG) and results in an amino acid substitution of the valine (V) at position 600 by an arginine (R).
The BRAF V600R mutation arises from a double nucleotide change (c.1798_1799GT>AG) and results in an amino acid substitution of the valine (V) at position 600 by an arginine (R).

BRAF mutations are found in approximately 10% of colorectal cancers, mainly in sporadic tumors with the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP+) and high microsatellite instability (MSI-H).

It has not been determined whether non-V600E BRAF mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer are similarly associated with poor prognosis as the predominant BRAF V600E mutation.

Activating BRAF mutations (more specifically V600E) have been linked to resistance to anti-EGFR therapies panitumumab or cetuximab. In addition, it has been demonstrated that BRAF-mutant colorectal carcinomas do not respond similarly to BRAF inhibitors as do malignant melanomas with a BRAF V600E mutation. However, correlative and genotype-directed studies will be required to determine whether non-V600E mutations in colorectal cancer predict response to other matched targeted therapies. For instance, preclinical and early clinical studies in melanoma have demonstrated that some BRAF mutations (L597, V600K) confer increased sensitivity to novel RAF and MEK inhibitors. Additional clinical trials are currently underway to test these treatment approaches in other tumor types, including colorectal cancer.

BRAF mutations are found in approximately 10% of colorectal cancers, mainly in sporadic tumors with the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP+) and high microsatellite instability (MSI-H).

It has not been determined whether non-V600E BRAF mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer are similarly associated with poor prognosis as the predominant BRAF V600E mutation.

Activating BRAF mutations (more specifically V600E) have been linked to resistance to anti-EGFR therapies panitumumab or cetuximab. In addition, it has been demonstrated that BRAF-mutant colorectal carcinomas do not respond similarly to BRAF inhibitors as do malignant melanomas with a BRAF V600E mutation. However, correlative and genotype-directed studies will be required to determine whether non-V600E mutations in colorectal cancer predict response to other matched targeted therapies. For instance, preclinical and early clinical studies in melanoma have demonstrated that some BRAF mutations (L597, V600K) confer increased sensitivity to novel RAF and MEK inhibitors. Additional clinical trials are currently underway to test these treatment approaches in other tumor types, including colorectal cancer.

PubMed ID's
19001320, 19603018, 20619739, 20413299, 19884556, 17363584, 12198537, 16804544, 12068308, 21426297, 22281684, 22448344, 22798288
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Your Matched Clinical Trials

Trial Matches: (D) - Disease, (G) - Gene, (M) - Mutation
Trial Status: Showing Results: 1-10 of 28 Per Page:
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Protocol # Title Location Status Match
NCT02327169 A Phase 1B Study of MLN2480 in Combination With MLN0128 or Alisertib, or Paclitaxel, or Cetuximab, or Irinotecan in Adult Patients With Advanced Nonhematologic Malignancies A Phase 1B Study of MLN2480 in Combination With MLN0128 or Alisertib, or Paclitaxel, or Cetuximab, or Irinotecan in Adult Patients With Advanced Nonhematologic Malignancies MGH Open DGM
NCT02279433 A First-in-human Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of DS-6051b A First-in-human Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of DS-6051b MGH Open D
NCT02099058 A Phase 1/1b Study With ABBV-399, an Antibody Drug Conjugate, in Subjects With Advanced Solid Cancer Tumors A Phase 1/1b Study With ABBV-399, an Antibody Drug Conjugate, in Subjects With Advanced Solid Cancer Tumors MGH Open D
NCT02219724 A Phase I, Open-Label Study of MOXR0916 in Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors A Phase I, Open-Label Study of MOXR0916 in Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors MGH Open D
NCT02365662 A Study Evaluating Safety and Pharmacokinetics of ABBV-221 in Subjects With Advanced Solid Tumor Types Likely to Exhibit Elevated Levels of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor A Study Evaluating Safety and Pharmacokinetics of ABBV-221 in Subjects With Advanced Solid Tumor Types Likely to Exhibit Elevated Levels of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor MGH Open D
NCT01714739 A Study of an Anti-KIR Antibody in Combination With an Anti-PD1 Antibody in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors A Study of an Anti-KIR Antibody in Combination With an Anti-PD1 Antibody in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors MGH Open D
NCT01633970 A Study of Atezolizumab Administered in Combination With Bevacizumab and/or With Chemotherapy in Participants With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors A Study of Atezolizumab Administered in Combination With Bevacizumab and/or With Chemotherapy in Participants With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors MGH Open D
NCT02467361 A Study of BBI608 Administered in Combination With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Adult Patients With Advanced Cancers A Study of BBI608 Administered in Combination With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Adult Patients With Advanced Cancers MGH Open D
NCT02228811 A Study of DCC-2701 in Participants With Advanced Solid Tumors A Study of DCC-2701 in Participants With Advanced Solid Tumors MGH Open D
NCT02082210 A Study of LY2875358 in Combination With Ramucirumab (LY3009806) in Participants With Advanced Cancer A Study of LY2875358 in Combination With Ramucirumab (LY3009806) in Participants With Advanced Cancer MGH Open D
Trial Status: Showing Results: 1-10 of 28 Per Page:
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