Therapeutic Innovations: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Cancer
Dervisis, Nikolaos G.
Klahn, Shawna L.
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Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy involving DNA-interacting agents and indiscriminate cell death is no longer the future of cancer management. While chemotherapy is not likely to completely disappear from the armamentarium; the use of targeted therapies in combination with conventional treatment is becoming the standard of care in human medicine. Tyrosine kinases are pivotal points of functional cellular pathways and have been implicated in malignancy, inflammatory, and immune-mediated diseases. Pharmaceutical interventions targeting aberrant tyrosine kinase signaling has exploded and is the second most important area of drug development. The “Valley of Death” between drug discovery and approval threatens to blunt the enormous strides in cancer management seen thus far. Kinase inhibitors, as targeted small molecules, hold promise in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer. However, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the use of kinase inhibitors in the interpretation and management of cancer. Comparative oncology has the potential to address restrictions and limitations in the advancement in kinase inhibitor therapy.