With the rapid development of high-throughput techniques for identifying novel specific molecular targets in human cancer over the past few years, attention to targeted cancer therapy has dramatically increased. The term "targeted cancer therapy" refers to a new generation of drugs designed to interfere with a specific molecular target that is believed to play a critical role in tumor growth or progression, is not expressed significantly in normal cells, and is correlated with clinical outcome. There has been a rapid increase in the identification of targets that have potential therapeutic application. The clinical success of the small-molecule kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate in chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors has accelerated the development of a new era of molecular targeted cancer therapy. The number of agents under preclinical and clinical investigation has grown accordingly. This emphasis on molecular biology and genetics has also resulted in significant changes in the treatment of gynecologic cancers. Several promising drugs targeting tyrosine kinases (EGFR and Her-2/Neu), mTOR, Raf kinase, proteasome, and histone deacetylases, as well as drugs affecting apoptosis and mitosis, are under development for clinical application. However, some clinical trials of p53 gene therapies and farnesyl transferase inhibitors have had limited success. In this review, we will focus on potential novel targets in gynecologic cancer and the development of targeted therapy and its clinical applications in gynecologic cancer.
Keywords: Targeted therapy, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, clinical trials, anticancer drugs
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