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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2010;95:9-29. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385071-3.00002-2.

Molecular biology and anticancer drug discovery.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute and Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


The profound impact of molecular biology on the philosophy of how one should seek new cancer therapeutics cannot be overstated. It has enabled the discovery of unique drugs as well as the identification of new drug targets and biomarkers and the creation of powerful animal models. Nevertheless, the process of cancer drug discovery remains inherently complex and inefficient. This is partially a consequence of the requirement of any successful therapy to show differential effects toward tumor cells relative to nonmalignant cells. The goal of this chapter is to outline the impact of molecular biology on modern approaches to anticancer drug discovery and to highlight the continuing challenges.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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