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Shaped like a tennis ball, this cancer protein was thought ‘undruggable.’ Amgen found a way to target it

What sets Amgen's small molecule pill apart, even among genetically driven cancer drugs, is the elusiveness of its target: mutant KRAS with structure like a tennis ball.
The KRAS oncogene's structure has been compared to a tennis ball. Source: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Scientists have long known that a mutant form of the cell-signaling protein called KRAS causes cancer, but discovering drugs capable of blocking KRAS has proven difficult. The protein is spherical and nearly featureless — its structure has been compared to a tennis ball —  leaving potential drugs with few, if any, effective attachment points.

On Wednesday, () is reporting early but potential progress in an effort to block mutant

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