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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

ognostic and pharmacogenomic evaluations in their updated treatment guidelines.

Targeted Agents in Combination are Entering Clinical Trials

The validated association of aggressive disease and the overexpression of HEr2 in any type or stage of breast cancer have created a $4 billion global market for trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech) in 2007. Still, nearly 50% of HEr2-positive patients do not respond to trastuzumab, and survival benefits are transient, often lasting under a year. Furthermore, side effects remain a significant problem. Despite these limitations, trastuzumab is the standard of treatment for both early stage and advanced or metastatic disease and is undergoing clinical trials in combination with numerous approved or novel anticancer agents.

Hundreds of clinical trials are underway combining approved targeted therapeutics with every applicable cytotoxic(s) with the goal of achieving incremental benefits. The greater opportunity, however, may lie in combining targeted therapeutics that address different points in one pathway or interacting pathways involved in angiogenesis, metastasis, drug resistance, and tumor growth and survival. This approach has entered the clinic; recently initiated trials are testing combinations of approved targeted therapeutics with each other. The full impact of combining target agents, however, will not be measured until approved and novel agents are combined in hundreds of different combinations for the treatment of hundreds of specific cancer indications.

Future Oncology Series Details ErbB Pathway-targeted Therapeutics

To date, ErbB pathway abnormalities, which occur in a large number of malignancies, have been the most extensively targeted. Currently, there are 7 approved agents targeting this pathway and over 620 clinical trials are ongoing with these agents in various combinations, mostly with cytotoxic agents but also with each other and with selected novel agents under clinical develo
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SOURCE New Medicine, Inc.
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