Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Drug Discovery

  • Min-Jean Yin
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7080-4


In the field of cancer biology and oncologic pharmacology, drug discovery is the process by which cancer drugs are discovered and developed. The process of drug discovery involves identification of cancer targets, chemical or biological design and synthesis of molecules against a given target, and screening and characterization of these molecules for maximal therapeutic efficacy and minimal toxicity. Once a molecule has shown activity in these tests preclinically, then the clinical development process will begin.


The process of cancer drug discovery involves multiple steps, beginning with selection of appropriate cancer targets, complex design and screening of potential molecules, and completion of drug characterization in disease relevant preclinical models to evaluate anticancer efficacy and toxicity tolerance prior to advancing to clinical development. Each step will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Cancer Targets

The biology of...


Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Cancer Drug Cancer Target Brentuximab Vedotin Preclinical Tumor Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncology ResearchPfizer Worldwide R&DSan DiegoUSA