Head and neck cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with squamous cell carcinomas accounting for most head and neck cancers.
The relapsed and/or refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patient population has an overall survival of approximately six to eight months and existing therapeutic options, including new therapies such as immunotherapy, typically show a response rate in the range of 10-20 percent.
Researchers have identified genetic mutations in people with HNSCC. However, it is not yet clear what role most of these mutations play in the development or progression of cancer.
HRAS is a gene implicated in the development and progression of HNSCC. HRAS is a proto-oncogene, which is a normal gene that can become an oncogene due to mutations or increased expression. HRAS is mutated and/or over-expressed in certain HNSCC tumors.
HRAS mutant HNSCC has an estimated annual U.S. incidence of approximately 2,900 to 4,700 patients* and we believe represents a significant unmet medical need.
* Estimate is between 5-8% of total HNSCC population, depending on allele frequency of HRAS mutations (Source: TCGA, internal data)