They call themselves “rasologists”: scientists who study the RAS family of genes and the cancers that can arise due to mutations within them. This field of research is at the heart of some sobering numbers. Almost a third of all human cancers, including 95 percent of pancreatic cancers, are driven by mutated RAS genes. The American Cancer Society estimates there were 48,960 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2015 and 40,560 deaths from the disease. A high proportion of lung and colorectal cancers are also driven by mutations in RAS.