Substantial recent progress has been reported in the context of implementing 'personalized' cancer medicine, informed by tumor genotyping. The recent FDA approvals of crizotinib, an ALK kinase inhibitor that has yielded significant clinical benefit in ALK-translocated lung cancers, and vemurafenib, a BRAF-selective kinase inhibitor that has demonstrated dramatic clinical efficacy in BRAF mutant melanoma patients, define the new landscape for tailored cancer drug therapy. However, acquired drug resistance remains a significant obstacle to the long-term benefit of such treatments. Here, we review these and other recent developments that are paving the way for future efforts to optimize the clinical utility of pathway-targeted cancer drug therapies.
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