Advances in the drug therapy of breast cancer

Authors: I. Dineva, S. Konstantinov,

Summary. The fight against breast cancer during the recent years has led to the development and registration of some new therapeutic agents targeting the molecules of signal transduction HER2, EGFR and IGF-1R, protecting the cell from apoptosis, VEGF – responsible for the tumor angiogenesis, HDAC, NF-κB etc. A crucial success has been achieved with bringing into practice the human monoclonal antibody against HER2 (trastuzumab, HerceptinR) for the treatment of an early stage metastatic breast cancer, the HER1 and HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib (TykerbR), as well as the new selective EGFR – TK inhibitors gefitinib (IressaR) and cetuximab (ErbituxR) and last but not least – the human monoclonal antibody against VEGF – bevacizumab (AvastinR). Some very promising results have been achieved with the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA (vorinostat, ZolinzaR) and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (VelcadeR). Because of the heterogeneity of the disease and the variations in answer to conventional therapy, these new therapeutic agents could provide essential benefits for the patients and ensure a promising basis for a new clinical practice.

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