Exploiting vulnerabilities in cancer signalling networks to combat targeted therapy resistance
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Drug resistance remains one of the greatest challenges facing precision oncology today. Despite the vast array of resistance mechanisms that cancer cells employ to subvert the effects of targeted therapy, a deep understanding of cancer signalling networks has led to the development of novel strategies to tackle resistance both in the first-line and salvage therapy settings. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major classes of resistance mechanisms to targeted therapy, including signalling reprogramming and tumour evolution; our discussion also focuses on the use of different forms of polytherapies (such as inhibitor combinations, multi-target kinase inhibitors and HSP90 inhibitors) as a means of combating resistance. The promise and challenges facing each of these polytherapies are elaborated with a perspective on how to effectively deploy such therapies in patients. We highlight efforts to harness computational approaches to predict effective polytherapies and the emerging view that exceptional responders may hold the key to better understanding drug resistance. This review underscores the importance of polytherapies as an effective means of targeting resistance signalling networks and achieving durable clinical responses in the era of personalised cancer medicine.
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Essays in Biochemistry, 2018