What is the KRAS-Variant 


What is the KRAS-Variant

The KRAS-variant belongs to a new class of inherited genetic variant that predicts increased risk of cancer.1-6 However, for women with the KRAS-variant, cancer may be prevented by maintaining estrogen levels.7

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The inherited KRAS-variant

The inherited KRAS-variant is an example of a new type of biomarker that can explain the genetic cause of cancer for many more families with strong cancer histories.

The inherited KRAS-variant is found in up to 25% of cancer patients, making it far more common than previously known genetic variants associated with cancer, such as BRCA1, which is found in only 5% of breast and ovarian cancer patients. 17,18

bar chart that shows many more cancer cases are now have hereditary causes than previously thought before the KRAS-variant

Sporadic Cancer

Cancer that occurs without known family history or an inherited genetic difference.


Hereditary Cancer

Cancer caused by known inherited genetic variants such as BRCA or CHEK2.


Familial Cancer

Cancer that occurs in families more often than would be expected by chance, but there is no known genetic reason.

The scientific breakthrough that led to the discovery of a new type of inherited genetic variant

In your cells, your DNA is continuously converting into molecules (called RNA), which then become proteins. These proteins serve many vital functions in your body.19 However in recent years, scientists have discovered that DNA also makes RNA molecules that never turn into proteins. These molecules are called non-coding RNAs and some of them appear to “control” what and how proteins are used throughout your body.20

This discovery has changed the fundamental understanding of biology, and has also led to new findings, like the inherited KRAS-variant.

The inherited KRAS-variant explains a large percentage of hereditary cancers

While it had been believed that most cancer was due to chance, as only 5-10% of cancers had known hereditary causes,21 we have now found that much more of cancer risk is passed down from your parents.

Our work at MiraKind is to discover the genetic variants for many more cancers, and to use this information to define the strategies and behaviors that may help reduce cancer risk.


What the inherited KRAS-variant may mean for your health

Patients with the inherited KRAS-variant are at a higher risk of developing cancer.1-6 Our studies show that women with the KRAS-variant can reduce cancer risk by maintaining their estrogen levels.7

The inherited KRAS-variant was discovered in 2006, and MiraKind’s research studies are helping us learn more about its implications for health and cancer risk every day. However, we have already learned some important things about how individuals with the KRAS-variant may be able to use information about their KRAS-variant status to help them make decisions about their health. Learn more about the KRAS-variant if you have a family history of cancer, cancer, or are peri- or menopausal.


Who should get tested for the inherited KRAS-variant?

If you have a family or personal history of cancer, or are peri- or menopausal, you may want to get tested for the KRAS-variant. Getting tested for the inherited KRAS-variant provides information that you and your doctor can use to make informed decisions about your health.

Learn more about why and how to get tested


Graphic that states: The KRAS-variant is an inherited genetic variant associated with an increased risk of breast, ovarian and lung cancer

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Any discussion of medical management options on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a medical recommendation. All medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and his or her healthcare professional.

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