Channing Der’s research on RAS gene family is highlighted in an article in The Guardian on promising new drugs for the KRAS mutation that may lead to new cancer medicines.
Channing Der, PhD, and Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, has spent forty years researching the RAS gene family and how mutations to RAS genes cause some of the deadliest cancers (pancreatic and colon cancers). He had just begun his career when he made a breakthrough discovery of mutations in the RAS family of genes in cancer cells.
“Being fairly new to the field at that point, I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of what this meant,” he laughs. “I was working in the lab of a professor named Geoffrey Cooper, and when I showed him the results, he paused for what seemed like minutes. So I asked if he was OK, and he replied: ‘This could be one of the most significant discoveries in cancer biology in decades.’” ~Channing Der
Now there are eight new drugs in clinical trials that appear to successfully target a KRAS mutant which may to lead to a new class of cancer medicines.
“Having developed these inhibitors is a groundbreaking moment in cancer biology.” ~Channing Der
~Excerpts are from the orignal article in The Guardian by David Cox: “The epic battle with cancer’s ‘Death Star.'” published March 6, 2021, which describes the research by Der and others that led to these promising new drug discoveries.