Dissertaties - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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Exploring targeted therapies in oncology

(2007) Mom, Constantijne Helene

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Targeted therapy in oncology is treatment directed at specific biological pathways and processes that play a critical role in carcinogenesis. Increased knowledge regarding the molecular changes underlying tumor progression and metastatis has resulted in the development of agents that are designed to interfere with processes which are aberrant in tumor cells. These cancer cell specific agents are commonly referred to as "targeted therapies" in order to distinguish the drugs from the more "traditional"anticancer therapies, such as chemotherapy. However, one could argue that chemotherapy is also targeted as most cytotoxic agents are directed at the "target" DNA.

Monoclonal antibodies and small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors are two important classes of drugs that are used as targeted therapies in cancer. Both treatment modalities have distinct characteristics which influence their clinical application. Several monoclonal antibodies as well as tyrosine kinase inhibitors have proven to be efficacious in the treatment of malignancies.
The aims of this thesis were to evaluate novel targeted therapies for the treatment of solid tumors, to assess the treatment of side effects that can be caused by targeted agents, and to identify potential targets for therapy.

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