Esophageal adenocarcinoma is a major cause of cancer death in men in the developed world. Continuing poor outcomes with conventional therapies that predominantly target apoptosis pathways have lead to increasing interest in treatments that target the cell cycle. A large international effort has led to the development of a large number of inhibitors, which target cell cycle kinases, including cyclin-dependent kinases, Aurora kinases and polo-like kinase. Initial phase I/II trials in solid tumors have often demonstrated only modest clinical benefits of monotherapy. This may relate in part to a failure to identify the patient populations that will gain the most clinical benefit. Newer compounds lacking the side effect profile of first-generation compounds may show utility as adjunctive treatments targeted to an individual's predicted response to treatment.
Keywords: Aurora kinases; Cell cycle; Cyclin-dependent kinase; Esophageal adenocarcinoma; Polo-like kinase.