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Cancer Res. 2008 May 1;68(9):3077-80; discussion 3080. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-3293.

Oncogene addiction.

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  • 1Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York 10032-2704, USA.


Cancer cells contain multiple genetic and epigenetic abnormalities. Despite this complexity, their growth and survival can often be impaired by the inactivation of a single oncogene. This phenomenon, called "oncogene addiction," provides a rationale for molecular targeted therapy. The efficacy of this strategy requires novel methods, including integrative genomics and systems biology, to identify the state of oncogene addiction (i.e., the "Achilles heel") in specific cancers. Combination therapy may also be required to prevent the escape of cancers from a given state of oncogene addiction.

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