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01.11.2014 | main topic | Ausgabe 21-22/2014

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 21-22/2014

A short update on cancer chemoresistance

Zeitschrift:
Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 21-22/2014
Autoren:
Gerhard Hamilton, Barbara Rath

Summary

Chemotherapeutic interventions in cancer patients are limited by the appearance of chemoresistance. For instance, advanced lung and ovarian cancer patients relapse invariably after few cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy. Disseminated tumors are characterized by genetic instability/heterogeneity, thus containing or generating a repertoire of resistant subpopulations. At the cellular level, altered drug uptake, efflux, and metabolization, as well as modifications of drug targets, increased repair, and decreased cell death complement the limited perfusion and adverse hypoxic/acidic extracellular conditions at the tumor level in retaining cancer cell viability. Similarly, targeted therapy is rendered ineffective by mutations of the specific target protein within a few months or years of administration. Assessment of the expression profiles of resistant tumor cells revealed extensive changes in numerous pathways affecting hundreds of genes. Therefore, reversal of drug resistance will require individual profiles of drug resistance mediators and the combination of several specific drugs, targeting critical components to provide new therapeutic options.

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