Since I graduated from medical school (many years ago), we have discovered so many new cancer biomarkers and oncogenes. The world of genomics has really taken off! As I think about the future of medicine, I often wonder about how many more biomarkers and oncogenes we will discover. How many new drugs will get developed to specifically target the overexpression of specific oncogenes? Human genetics and molecular biology are becoming more fascinating topics because we now have the ability to engineer drugs that target specific genes and gene products.
Here are a few examples of some of the newer areas of cancer research:
- DNA Methylation Biomarker, Septin 9, (Colorectal Cancer)
- Non-codingRNA (microRNA)
- Metabolomics-derived Biochemical Markers (Prostate Cancer)
Speaking of biologic drugs, I still remember when the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) came out. Remember when Gleevec (imatinib) came out? TKIs have now evolved into agents that target multiple different tyrosine kinase pathways and even inhibit EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor). We now have nilotinib (Tasigna), dasatinib (Sprycel), erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), and several more coming. How do medical students keep up with all these drugs? Students today are even learning about new compounds like histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDAC inhibitors or HDIs). We've certainly come a long way in the world of cancer biomarkers, oncogenes, and targeted therapies. What will the future look like as we learn how to target these biomarkers and oncogenes? Image source:
Post a Comment