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Recent advance in the development of several novel anticancer agents has led to
significant improvement of outcome of cancer treatment. Major achievements in the field of
target therapy have been focusing on identification of newer generation of anti-growth factor
receptor. Combinatorial therapy with specific monoclonal antibodies like trastuzumab and
pertuzumab to target parallel growth factor signaling pathways may lead to improvement of
outcome of breast cancer treatment. In addition, a novel toxin conjugated trastuzumab has
been shown to possibly break the resistant barrier of HER2 positive advanced breast cancer.
Second generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) targeting EGFR mutation, for example
BIBW2992 and HKI272, have been studied to overcome the secondary resistance occurred
following previous exposure to TKI. Several of these agents have now entered into phase III
studies in lung cancer. Other non-TKI targeted agents are currently under intensive studies in
several indications. Key targeted non-growth factor receptor pathways involve mTOR
survival pathway, protein degradation apparatus, and DNA repair mechanism. Everolimus, a
mTOR inhibitor is now a proven second line agent following failure to first line multi-target
TKI like sunitinib or sorafenib in renal cell carcinoma. Moreover PARP inhibitors have
preliminary shown to be effective in the so called triple negative breast cancer which has no a
current specific agent of choice. All of these examples strongly illustrate a new era of
fighting against cancer.
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