The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Thoralf Christoffersen

The evasive target: Signal transduction and antitumour therapy

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Thoralf Christoffersen
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

As a result of the growing understanding that the majority of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes encode proteins that are mutated or deregulated forms of key components in major regulatory pathways, drugs targeted at cellular signal transduction mechanisms in cancer are currently being developed at an increasing speed. While some striking clinical effects have been obtained, the results from many other cancer treatments have been quite disappointing. This has raised the question of whether major advances can realistically be expected by the use of signal-targeted strategies and how individualised therapies can be best achieved. In this lecture I will give a brief review, and present personal reflections, on some of the underlying mechanisms of signal-based therapies, the problem of therapeutic refractoriness, and some tentative future approaches. I will also briefly show some experimental data, including results on mechanisms that integrate different signalling pathways. 

Host: Stein Ove Døskeland, Department of Biomedicine