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Targeted Cancer Therapy: The Next Generation of Cancer Treatment

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States along with heart disease. The hallmark of cancer treatment has been conventional chemotherapy. Chemotherapeutic drugs are designed to target not only rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, but also certain normal cells, such as intestinal epithelium. Over the past several years, a new generation of cancer treatment has come to the forefront, i.e, targeted cancer therapies. Like conventional chemotherapy, targeted cancer therapies use pharmacological agents that inhibit growth, increase cell death and restrict the spread of cancer. As the name suggests, targeted therapies interfere with specific proteins involved in tumorigenesis. Rather than using broad base cancer treatments, focusing on specific molecular changes which are unique to a particular cancer, targeted cancer therapies may be more therapeutically beneficial for many cancer types, including lung, colorectal, breast, lymphoma and leukemia. Moreover, recent advances have made it possible to analyze and tailor treatments to an individual patient’s tumor. There are three main types of targeted cancer therapies; 1) monoclonal antibodies, 2) small molecule inhibitors and 3) immunotoxins. This review will discuss these three classes of targeted therapies in detail, as well as the biology behind targeted cancer therapies.

Keywords: Cancer therapies; chemotherapy; immunotoxins; monoclonal antibodies; small molecule inhibitors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • Due to the plethora of new approaches being used in modern drug discovery by the pharmaceutical industry, Current Drug Discovery Technologies has been established to provide comprehensive overviews of all the major modern techniques and technologies used in drug design and discovery. The journal is the forum for publishing both original research papers and reviews describing novel approaches and cutting edge technologies used in all stages of drug discovery. The journal addresses the multidimensional challenges of drug discovery science including integration issues of the drug discovery process.

    Current Drug Discovery Technologies is an essential journal for all scientists and research managers involved in drug discovery who wish to keep abreast of all the modern techniques and technologies used in drug discovery.
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