Cancer drug therapy is undergoing a major transition from the previous pregenomic cytotoxic era to the new postgenomic era. Future mechanism-based therapeutic agents will increasingly be designed to act on molecular targets that are causally involved in the malignant progression of human cancers. Such agents are predicted to show greater therapeutic selectivity for cancer versus normal cells. New cancer drug targets are identified and validated in various ways. The determination of the normal human genome sequence, followed by that of multiple cancer genomes, is accelerating target discovery. Other new technologies, particularly high throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry and gene expression microarrays, are increasing the speed and efficiency of drug development. Examples of new molecular therapeutics showing promising activity in the clinic include Herceptin, Glivec and Iressa. However, many challenges remain as we test the vision of individualised combinatorial genome-based therapy, using drugs targeted to every significant molecular abnormality in cancer.
Keywords: Genomic Cancer Therapy, pregenomic cytotoxic era, radiation therapy, Herceptin, postgenomic drug, level of prioritisation, pharmacodynamic relationships, Pipelines Face
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