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Oncology Drug Development Update - Molecular Profiling Redefines the Nature of Malignancy and Increases the Adoption of Targeted Therapeutics
Date:2/19/2008

The Next Step Involves Combining the 350+ Targeted Drugs on the Market and in Clinical Development with Each Other to Block Key Pathways to Combat Drug Resistance, Enhance Anticancer Effects, and Expand the Markets for

Targeted Drugs

LAKE FOREST, Calif., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Identification of novel cancer-related targets and pathways is redefining our understanding of the nature of malignancy. Molecular profiling is prompting new, more detailed classifications of malignancy enabling the development of specific/personalized cancer therapies. Standard classifications involving gross pathologic hallmarks such as stage and grade are now being further augmented by data detailing the overexpression of oncogenes, silencing of tumor suppressors and presence of mutant forms of relevant markers. In each of these cases novel targeted agents and various combination strategies are being investigated based on the specific molecular profiles of cancer subtypes.

Molecular Profiling Improves Classification and Guides Treatment

In breast cancer, for example, classification has been extended to include metastatic sites (bone, brain), expression of HEr2, and hormone receptor status. A recently introduced classification is triple negative (Er-, Pgr- and HEr2-) breast cancer, also known as basal-cell cancer. Other classifications include inflammatory breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ. Different treatment strategies are in development for each of these tumor types. Similarly, most other malignancies are also undergoing reclassification based on specific molecular profiles. Elucidation of the role of Kras in the success or failure of EGFr inhibition in the treatment of colorectal cancer exemplifies the recent remarkable achievements that have been made based on molecular profiling. Authoritative cancer agencies are taking notice. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has begun to incorporate diagnostic, pr
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SOURCE New Medicine, Inc.
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