Mechanism-based target identification and drug discovery in cancer research

Science. 2000 Mar 17;287(5460):1969-73. doi: 10.1126/science.287.5460.1969.


Cancer as a disease in the human population is becoming a larger health problem, and the medicines used as treatments have clear limitations. In the past 20 years, there has been a tremendous increase in our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms and pathophysiology of human cancer. Many of these mechanisms have been exploited as new targets for drug development in the hope that they will have greater antitumor activity with less toxicity to the patient than is seen with currently used medicines. The fruition of these efforts in the clinic is just now being realized with a few encouraging results.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemical synthesis
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors