Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery and Development
Cancer is becoming a major cause of death worldwide. With the increase in life expectancy, the number of cancer cases has reached to peak levels. In this scenario, the pharmaceutical industry has made significant investments in this therapeutic area. Despite these efforts, cancer drug research remains a remarkably challenging field, and therapeutic innovations have not yet achieved anticipated clinical results. However, the patholophysiology of the disease is now better understood, and the discovery of novel molecular targets has raised the expectations of developing improved treatments. Several noteworthy advances have been made, among which the development of targeted therapies is the most improvement. Monoclonal antibodies and antibody-small molecule conjugates have emerged as an effective approach to improve drug selectivity and reduce adverse effects, which are the main challenges in cancer drug discovery.
The most widely used treatments for cancer are surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the best existing option for metastatic cancers, where the treatment has to be systemic. The most frequently used chemotherapy drugs have been identified empirically without any pre-existing knowledge regarding the molecular mechanism of action of the drugs.