The New Generation of Targeted Therapies for Breast CancerOctober 1st 2003
Traditional therapies for breast cancer have generally relied uponthe targeting of rapidly proliferating cells by inhibiting DNA replicationor cell division. Although this strategy has been effective, its innate lackof selectivity for tumor cells has resulted in diminishing returns, approachingthe limits of acceptable toxicity. A growing understanding ofthe molecular events that mediate tumor growth and metastases has ledto the development of rationally designed targeted therapeutics thatoffer the dual hope of maximizing efficacy and minimizing toxicity tonormal tissue. Promising strategies include the inhibition of growthfactor receptor and signal transduction pathways, prevention of tumorangiogenesis, modulation of apoptosis, and inhibition of histone deacetylation.This article reviews the development of several novel targetedtherapies that may be efficacious in the treatment of patients with breastcancer and highlights the challenges and opportunities associated withthese agents.