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Adv Pharm Bull. 2017 Sep;7(3):339-348. doi: 10.15171/apb.2017.041. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

The Different Mechanisms of Cancer Drug Resistance: A Brief Review.

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Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Anticancer drugs resistance is a complex process that arises from altering in the drug targets. Advances in the DNA microarray, proteomics technology and the development of targeted therapies provide the new strategies to overcome the drug resistance. Although a design of the new chemotherapy agents is growing quickly, effective chemotherapy agent has not been discovered against the advanced stage of cancer (such as invasion and metastasis). The cancer cell resistance against the anticancer agents can be due to many factors such as the individual's genetic differences, especially in tumoral somatic cells. Also, the cancer drug resistance is acquired, the drug resistance can be occurred by different mechanisms, including multi-drug resistance, cell death inhibiting (apoptosis suppression), altering in the drug metabolism, epigenetic and drug targets, enhancing DNA repair and gene amplification. In this review, we outlined the mechanisms of cancer drug resistance and in following, the treatment failures by common chemotherapy agents in the different type of cancers.


Cancer; Cell death inhibiting; Drug resistance; Epigenetic; Multi-drug resistance; microRNA

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