Author(s): Raguz S, Yage E
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Abstract Resistance to cancer chemotherapeutic treatment is a common phenomenon, especially in progressive disease. The generation of cellular models of drug resistance has been pivotal in unravelling the main effectors of resistance to traditional chemotherapy at the molecular level (i.e. intracellular drug inactivation, detoxifying systems, defects in DNA repair, apoptosis evasion, membrane transporters and cell adhesion). The development of targeted therapies has also been followed by resistance, reminiscent of an evolutionary arms race, as exemplified by imatinib and other BCR-ABL inhibitors for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukaemia. Although traditionally associated with the last stages of the disease, recent findings with minimally transformed pretumorigenic primary human cells indicate that the ability to generate drug resistance arises early during the tumorigenic process, before the full transformation. Novel technologies, such as genome profiling, have in certain cases predicted the outcome of chemotherapy and undoubtedly have tremendous potential for the future. In addition, the novel cancer stem cell paradigm raises the prospect of cell-targeted therapies instead of treatment directed against the whole tumour.
This article was published in Br J Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy