Drug sensitivity and resistance testing (DSRT), established at the Institute for…
Molecular profiling has facilitated identification of many driver gene mutations that directly or indirectly provide growth advantage to cancer cells. Exploitation of these alterations has led to the development of targeted therapies, including small molecule inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies.
Since the approval of the first targeted therapy (Rituximab) in 1997, ~100 targeted therapies are used to treat many common malignancies today. Depending on the molecular complexity of the cancer, treatment can be provided either as mono – or combination therapy. In addition, the current treatment arsenal for modern customized cancer care includes immunotherapeutic approaches. Immunotherapy is used to either stimulate patients’ own immune system to fight cancer or counteract signals produced by cancer cells that suppress immune responses.
Drug resistance constitutes one of the most challenging hurdle to overcome. This could be achieved by taking into account the clonal architecture and stem cell compartment of the cancer in treatment design.