Drug Resistance

  • Kenneth D. Tew


The expression or development of a drug-resistant phenotype is one of the major contributing factors in the failure of cancer chemotherapy. At the onset of treatment, most human cancers are composed of many millions of actively dividing tumor cells. Although clonal in origin, heterogeneity is a common trait even within a single tumor mass. Standard anticancer drugs are chemicals that exert a toxic effect on the tumor cell population, producing a biologic stress response. Thus, drug treatment creates the optimal environment for the selection of “fit” cells that are able to survive the insult. This chapter outlines numerous factors that contribute to a drug-resistant phenotype. Because of the diversity of drug targets, a wide array of cellular adaptations are apparent. In some instances, the changes are overlapping or redundant, perhaps reflecting the important survival advantage of multiple cellular protective processes.


Drug Resistance Ethacrynic Acid Nitrogen Mustard Drug Resistance Gene Tubulin Isotype 
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© Current Medicine, Inc. 2000

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  • Kenneth D. Tew

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