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RAS Panel, KRAS and NRAS Gene Test
This test is used before making decisions about the best choice of therapy.
Confused about genetics?
See our Genetics information page
The KRAS an NRAS genes provides instructions for making proteins called K-Ras and N-Ras that are involved in very complex pathways regulating cell division. Both K-Ras and N-Ras bind a molecule called GTP and this switches them on and they become active in the signalling pathway sending signals to the cell nucleus. These signals reaching the nucleus cause the cells to start proliferating and change their behaviour – they differentiate and take on new functions.
Both K-Ras ad N-Ras are GTPase enzymes, they can convert GTP to GDP and when they do so they become inactive. Certain mutations in these genes cause them to lose their GTPase activity and they are then switched on continuously.
This test is performed before a doctor recommends a specific therapy for a patient with bowel cancer.
Last Review Date: August 1, 2018