Rational therapeutic intervention in cancer: kinases as drug targets

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2002 Feb;12(1):111-5. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(01)00273-8.


Landmark clinical studies of new drugs developed to target specific forms of cancer were reported in 2001. Herceptin, a monoclonal antibody against the Her2/neu receptor tyrosine kinase, prolonged the survival of women with Her-2/neu positive metastatic breast cancer, when combined with chemotherapy. STI-571, a small molecule inhibitor of the Bcr-Abl, c-kit and platelet derived growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, produced dramatic clinical responses in patients with Bcr-Abl positive chronic myeloid leukemia and c-kit positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors. These examples have galvanized the cancer research community to extend kinase-inhibitor therapy to other cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, ErbB-2