Amgen’s drug is not as drastically effective as some new cancer medicines, said Dr. Bruce Johnson, the chief clinical research officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. But in combination with other drugs, those targeting specific mutations can change the course of the disease in many patients, he added.
For example, drugs targeting specific mutations in melanoma patients at first seemed unimpressive, but when combined with other medicines, they eventually changed prospects for patients with this deadly disease.
“The more I looked at it, the more optimistic I became,” Dr. Johnson said of Amgen’s new data.
While the KRAS G12C mutation is most common in lung cancer, it also occurs in other cancers, especially in colorectal cancer, where it is found in up to 3 percent of tumors, and particularly in pancreatic cancer. Ninety percent of those patients carry the mutation.