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Oncogenes come of age.

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  • 1Program in Cancer Biology and Genetics, Sloan-Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Mutations of proto-oncogenes are common events in the pathogenesis of cancers, as shown in a wide range of studies during the 30 years since the discovery of these genes. The benefits of novel therapies that target the products of mutant alleles in human cancers, and the demonstrated dependence of cancers in mouse models on continued expression of initiating oncogenes, are especially promising signs that revolutionary improvements in cancer care are possible. Full realization of the promise of targeted therapies, however, will require better definitions of the genotypes of human cancers, new approaches to interrupt the biochemical consequences of oncogenic mutations, and a greater understanding of drug resistance and tumor progression. In this paper, we summarize recent efforts toward these goals in our laboratory and others.

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