Center of cancer systems biology second annual workshop--tumor metronomics: timing and dose level dynamics

Cancer Res. 2013 May 15;73(10):2949-54. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3807. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Metronomic chemotherapy, the delivery of doses in a low, regular manner so as to avoid toxic side effects, was introduced over 12 years ago in the face of substantial clinical and preclinical evidence supporting its tumor-suppressive capability. It constituted a marked departure from the classic maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) strategy, which, given its goal of rapid eradication, uses dosing sufficiently intense to require rest periods between cycles to limit toxicity. Even so, upfront tumor eradication is frequently not achieved with MTD, whereupon a de facto goal of longer-term tumor control is often pursued. As metronomic dosing has shown tumor control capability, even for cancers that have become resistant to the same drug delivered under MTD, the question arises whether it may be a preferable alternative dosing approach from the outset. To date, however, our knowledge of the coupled dynamics underlying metronomic dosing is neither sufficiently well developed nor widely enough disseminated to establish its actual potential. Meeting organizers thus felt the time was right, armed with new quantitative approaches, to call a workshop on "Tumor Metronomics: Timing and Dose Level Dynamics" to explore prospects for gaining a deeper, systems-level appreciation of the metronomics concept. The workshop proved to be a forum in which experts from the clinical, biologic, mathematical, and computational realms could work together to clarify the principles and underpinnings of metronomics. Among other things, the need for significant shifts in thinking regarding endpoints to be used as clinical standards of therapeutic progress was recognized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Systems Biology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor