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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 46(1); 2003 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2003;46(1):46-50.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2003.46.1.46   
Molecular Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer
Dae Seog Heo
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine & Hospital, Seoul National University, Korea. heo1013@plaza.ac.kr
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in Korea. In spite of some improvements, conventional treatments (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) did not bring satisfactory solution of this fatal disease. Recent progress in molecular biology gave us better understanding of pathophysiology of lung cancer. It showed the basic elements of carcinogenesis at the molecular level. New anticancer drugs against molecular targets of cancer cells demonstrated treatment efficacy with acceptable toxicity. As STI-571 (Gleevec) is effective in chronic myelogenous leukemia, inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (Iressa and Cetuximab) showed promising results in non-small cell lung cancer. Numerous new drugs against various molecular targets, such as oncogenes or extra-cellular matrix or angiogenesis or COX-2, are under investigation. Despite numerous obstacles to overcome, there are high hopes that these kinds of molecular targeted therapy will open a new horizon in lung cancer treatment.
Key Words: Lung cancer, Molecular target, Gene therapy, Iressa


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