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Gene Testing Predicts Response to Erbitux

Testing for KRAS Gene Pinpoints Which Patients Will Benefit From Targeted Therapy

'An Exciting Era'

Julie Gralow, MD, chairwoman of ASCO's communications committee and a cancer specialist at the University of Washington, says, "This is an exciting area of targeted agents."

Noting that therapies like Erbitux typically cost upwards of $5,000, Gralow says, "A big question is, how are we going to be able to afford these drugs in our patients? With KRAS testing, we can predict the two-thirds of patients who will benefit. We don't need to give this drug to the other third now."

That, she says, will spare them both the cost and side effects of unnecessary treatment. Gralow moderated a news conference to discuss the findings.

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