Kantonsspital St.Gallen

[Molecularly-targeted anticancer treatments - a short appraisal]

Markus Joerger

abstract Molecularly-targeted anticancer treatments - a short appraisal Molecularly-targeted or personalized systemic treatment has substantially transformed modern oncology, and has improved the prognosis of many tumor entities, in particular advanced solid and hematological malignancies. The bulk of molecularly-targeted anticancer drugs comprise small orally administered molecules, most prominently the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). The respective tumor entities treated by those drugs typically harbour specific genetic aberrations that we often call 'driver mutations', referring to their transforming and tumorigenic properties. Molecularly-targeted anticancer drugs fit to these genetic aberrations as they are able to specifically inhibit growth-stimulating signals. The success story of modern TKI's started 1999 with the use of the anti-BCR / ABL TKI imatinib in chronic myelogenous leucemia (CML) that enables those patients to achieve a virtually normal life expectancy. Since then, many molecularly-targeted anticancer drugs and TKI's have been approved for a wide range of malignancies. The next level of personalized oncological treatment will have to deal with much less frequent genetic aberrations that are inherently more difficult to spot in the tumor and to study. Newer techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS) will help cancer specialists to screen their patients for genetic aberrations and get the most benefit from personalized oncology.
citation Joerger M. [Molecularly-targeted anticancer treatments - a short appraisal]. Ther Umsch 2019; 76:179-185.
type journal paper/review (Translation2::getLang(): unknown language "". Use Translation2::setLang() to set a default language.)
date of publishing 9-2019
journal title Ther Umsch (76/4)
ISSN print 0040-5930
pages 179-185
PubMed 31498038
DOI 10.1024/0040-5930/a001082