Personalized medicine in oncology: the future is now

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 May;9(5):363-6. doi: 10.1038/nrd3181.


Cancer chemotherapy is in evolution from non-specific cytotoxic drugs that damage both tumour and normal cells to more specific agents and immunotherapy approaches. Targeted agents are directed at unique molecular features of cancer cells, and immunotherapeutics modulate the tumour immune response; both approaches aim to produce greater effectiveness with less toxicity. The development and use of such agents in biomarker-defined populations enables a more personalized approach to cancer treatment than previously possible and has the potential to reduce the cost of cancer care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Design
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / economics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Precision Medicine*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor