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oncogene addiction

Sunday 5 January 2014

Cancer cells contain multiple genetic and epigenetic abnormalities. Despite this complexity, their growth and survival can often be impaired by the inactivation of a single oncogene. This phenomenon, called "oncogene addiction," provides a rationale for molecular targeted therapy.

The efficacy of this strategy requires novel methods, including integrative genomics and systems biology, to identify the state of oncogene addiction (i.e., the "Achilles heel") in specific cancers.

Combination therapy may also be required to prevent the escape of cancers from a given state of oncogene addiction.

Open references

- Oncogene addiction. Weinstein IB, Joe A. Cancer Res. 2008 May 1;68(9):3077-80; discussion 3080. doi : 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-3293 Review. PMID: 18451130 (Free)


- Mechanisms of disease: Oncogene addiction—a rationale for molecular targeting in cancer therapy. Weinstein IB, Joe AK. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2006 Aug;3(8):448-57. Review. PMID: 16894390

- Cancer. Addiction to oncogenes—the Achilles heal of cancer. Weinstein IB. Science. 2002 Jul 5;297(5578):63-4. PMID: 12098689