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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2006 Apr;7(6):721-32.

Advances in the treatment for haematological malignancies.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology, L. and A. Seràgnoli, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy. ppicca@med.unibo.it


Despite the progress made in the last decade in the treatment of haematological malignancies, most of the patients still have a dismal prognosis. However, the improved knowledge of tumour biology opened the possibility to develop new 'intelligent' therapeutic strategies, the so-named targeted therapies. These approaches aim to selectively kill cancer cells by basing this selectivity on both the expression of a specific molecule on their surface or the activation of particular molecular pathways secondary to malignant transformation. In this article, the authors review the main targeted therapies available in haematology, such as monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase, farnesyltransferase, as well as proteasome inhibitors, antiangiogenesis compounds and antisense oligonuceotides. Finally, the authors focus on the application of imatinib mesylate in chronic myeloid leukaemia as the paradigm of molecular treatment. Although these novel therapies are beginning to fulfil their promise, continued research efforts are needed to determine the optimal role of these strategies in haemato-oncology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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