Importance of RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway in human cancers
The RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway is activated in many human tumors and plays key roles in driving proliferation, suppressing apoptosis, and mediating other aspects of the transformed phenotype. Multiple mechanisms have been described that directly activate the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, including abnormal activation of upstream growth factor receptors or gain-of-function mutations in the KRAS, NRAS or BRAF genes.
Thirty percent of all human cancers are driven by mutations of the RAS family of genes and are highly aggressive and recurrent. The inhibition of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway has long been an attractive therapeutic target for cancer treatment, particularly for the treatment of KRAS-mutant, NRAS-mutant, and BRAF-mutant cancers.