Targeted Therapy for Cancer

The quest for therapeutic specificity is implicit in all branches of medicine. In cancer treatment, where the therapeutic modality is a cytotoxic agent such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, such specificity is of paramount importance. The growing realisation that current therapeutic options are likely to yield no more than incremental improvements in outcome has fuelled the search for more active targeted approaches. This book discusses the more archetypal systemic targeted therapies, such as those employing monoclonal antibodies or liposomes, but also includes strategies, such as photodynamic therapy and boron neutron capture therapy, that rely on direct physical targeting of disease. The explosion in our understanding of the molecular biology of cancer in recent years has led to the identification of a number of new potential therapeutic targets. These factors, combined with the likelihood that yet more valuable information will be gleaned from the Human Genome Project, mean that inevitably, significant clinical activity in this arena is anticipated in the coming years with the very real prospect that gene therapy approaches may find an established role in the standard treatment of some of the common cancers. This book brings together the very latest research in this field from an international group of experts and will prove invaluable for molecular oncologists, cancer researchers and those involved with clinical trials as well as providing a reference for oncologists who are beginning to use some of these therapies in everyday clinical practice.