Biotherapeutics and Novel Targets

The term biotherapeutics refers to agents that are created from biological sources using recombinant DNA technology, such as antibodies and proteins.1 Many biotherapeutics target a specific component or, in some cases, multiple components of disease pathways, including growth factor receptors and proteins that are upstream regulators of these receptors, to control or halt the progression of cancer.1,2 Some biotherapeutics function by triggering an immune response or specifically target cancer stem cells,1,3 and others, called immune antibody drug conjugates, deliver potent payloads directly to a target cell or tissue via the specificity of the antibody component.4 Biotherapies are quickly becoming an important modality in the targeted treatment of cancer.1

In addition, ongoing research continues to uncover new molecules and mechanisms involved in dysregulated pathways in cancer. Biologic and non-biologic agents targeting various aspects of these pathways are continually in development in hopes of providing improved outcomes in patients with cancer.

References

  1. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/types/immunotherapy/bio-therapies-fact-sheet.
  2. Schaefer W, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108-11187-11192.
  3. Chen K, et al. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. 2013:34:732-740.
  4. Zolot RS, et al. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013;12:259-260.