1318 - KRAS mutation testing for access to panitumumab

Page last updated: 07 November 2014

This application has been withdrawn.

Application Detail



Description of Medical Service

KRAS (pronounced kay-razz) is a gene which has an important role in the development and continued growth of colorectal cancer. The KRAS gene is found to be mutated, or changed, in about 40% of people with colorectal cancer. The other 60% of people have a non-mutated (sometimes called “wild type”) KRAS gene. Research shows that two drugs, panitumumab (Vectibix®) and cetuximab (Erbitux®), are not effective in tumours that carry the KRAS mutation. The proposed medical service is a genetic test, conducted on a biopsy sample, to tell whether a tumour carries this mutation. This test is already available to assess eligibility for treatment with cetuximab subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This application would make the test available to assess eligibility for PBS-subsidised treatment with panitumumab.

Description of Medical Condition

Each year over 14,000 individuals are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed by age 85 is 1 in 10 for men and 1 in 14 for women. In 50-60% of patients the cancer will spread (or ‘metastasise’) to other parts of the body. Widespread disease is treated with chemotherapy and patients may receive several sequential courses of different types of chemotherapy as the disease progresses. For patients with widespread disease the prognosis is poor with only 10% of patients still alive 5 years after diagnosis.

Reason for Application


Medical Service Type


Previous Application Number

Not Applicable

Associated Documentation

Application Form


PICO Confirmation


Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Final Public Summary Document (PDF 58 KB)
Final Public Summary Document (Word 675 KB)






5 April 2013