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AACR 2023: Study Identified Common Genetic Mutations Across Various Cancer Types

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Mutations of the BRAF gene and fusions of the NTRK and RET genes are commonly found across various tumor types, with all three mutations co-occurring in 3.4% of all cancers, according to a poster presentation given at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023 (Abstract 1173). Given the commonality of these genetic mutations, personalized therapies for patients may now be established, suggested Mohamed A. Gouda, MBBCh, MSc, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and colleagues.

Data from a total of 137,401 patients with various cancers were collected using the AACR Project GENIE database. Mutations of BRAF and fusions of NTRK and RET were analyzed and documented.

The analysis revealed that 3% of patients had mutations of BRAF V600E, 0.3% had fusions of NTRK, and 0.2% had fusions of RET. BRAF V600E mutations were most common in melanoma (28%), colorectal cancer (25%), thyroid cancer (19%), glioma (8%), and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (7%). Fusions of NTRK were most common in breast cancer (11%), thyroid cancer (10%), glioma (10%), soft-tissue sarcoma (9%), and NSCLC (8%). Fusions of RET were observed in NSCLC (56%), thyroid cancer (24%), colorectal cancer (4%), breast cancer (3%), and gastroesophageal cancer (2%).

“Further analysis of co-occurring TP53, TERT, and SETD2 alterations and their impact on response to targeted therapies is warranted in order to tailor personalized treatments for patients harboring these alterations,” commented Dr. Gouda and his collaborators.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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