, Volume 71, Issue 8, pp 713-718

Kinase inhibitors translate lab discoveries into exciting new cures for cancers

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Abstract

Genetic mutations can lead to abnormal activation of certain kinases that in turn lead to excessive cell division seen in cancers. Inhibitors of over activated kinases can theoretically inhibit cancer causing pathways and result in tumor shrinkage. These discoveries have sparked a revolution in drug discovery with many small molecule kinases inhibitors now being used in cancer clinical trials. The amazing success of Imatinib, a blocker of the bcr-abl kinase in chronic myeloid leukemia has shown that the drugs based on these strategies can improve cure rates in cancer. In this article, the authors review the concepts of kinase inhibition in cancer and principles behind the success of imitanib. The authors also review other promising kinase inhibitors being used in clinical trials that are expected to aid the fight against cancer.