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Open Access Targeting Tumor Suppressor Networks for Cancer Therapeutics

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Cancer is a consequence of mutations in genes that control cell proliferation, differentiation and cellular homeostasis. These genes are classified into two categories: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Together, overexpression of oncogenes and loss of tumor suppressors are the dominant driving forces for tumorigenesis. Hence, targeting oncogenes and tumor suppressors hold tremendous therapeutic potential for cancer treatment. In the last decade, the predominant cancer drug discovery strategy has relied on a traditional reductionist approach of dissecting molecular signaling pathways and designing inhibitors for the selected oncogenic targets. Remarkable therapies have been developed using this approach; however, targeting oncogenes is only part of the picture. Our understanding of the importance of tumor suppressors in preventing tumorigenesis has also advanced significantly and provides a new therapeutic window of opportunity. Given that tumor suppressors are frequently mutated, deleted, or silenced with loss-of-function, restoring their normal functions to treat cancer holds tremendous therapeutic potential. With the rapid expansion in our knowledge of cancer over the last several decades, developing effective anticancer regimens against tumor suppressor pathways has never been more promising. In this article, we will review the concept of tumor suppression, and outline the major therapeutic strategies and challenges of targeting tumor suppressor networks for cancer therapeutics.
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Keywords: BRCA1; BRCA2; RB; gene therapy; p53; small molecule inhibitors; tumor suppressors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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