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Oncogene. 2009 Dec 17;28(50):4409-20. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.295. Epub 2009 Sep 21.

Loss-of-function genetic screens as a tool to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

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Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Centre for Biomedical Genetics and Cancer Genomics Centre, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A major impediment to the effective treatment of cancer is the molecular heterogeneity of the disease, which is also reflected in an equally diverse pattern of clinical responses to therapy. Currently, only few drugs are available that can be used safely and effectively to treat cancer. To improve this situation, the development of novel and highly specific targets for therapy is of utmost importance. Possibly even more importantly, we need better tools to predict which patients will respond to specific therapies. Such drug response biomarkers will be instrumental to individualize the therapy of patients having seemingly similar cancers. In this study, we discuss how RNA interference-based genetic screens can be used to address these two pressing needs in the care for cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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