chapter  9
36 Pages

Cancer Cell M etabolism and D evelopm ent of N ovel A nticancer Drugs

Since conventional cancer therapy and current anticancer drugs fail to cure approxim ately 50% of cancers it is an im perative goal to discover and develop new prom ising anticancer drugs that w ill be m ore effective and less toxic for can­ cer patients, replacing m ost of current therapeutic strategies. In the recent years significant strides and advancem ents were m ade to better understand the genetic, m olecular and m etabolic m echanism s of cancer cells, their growth and dissem i­ nation, and this led to an unprecedented im petus for developm ent of novel anti­ cancer drugs, and currently is also a significant trend in the pharm aceutical and genetic engineering field to bring the developm ent of new anticancer drugs to a m olecular and m etabolic level (1-3). Inasm uch as cancer cell m etabolism is a com ­ plex and m ultifaceted phenom enon, each of its facet can becom e a potential target for design and developm ent of novel anticancer drugs (Table 39). H ence, cancer cell m etabolism w ill becom e an exciting field w hich m ay ultim ately provide the greatest payoff for developm ent of novel anticancer drugs as w ell as for new ther­ apeutic strategies (horm one therapy, cytokine therapy, gene and antisense thera­ py, cell differentiation therapy), and bringing the pharm acokinetics, cancer treat­ m ent and prevention to a m olecular, genetic, and m etabolic level. However, the m ain goal of cancer treatm ent and developm ent of anticancer drugs still remains:

1. To design and develop new anticancer drugs m ore effective and less toxic, w ith few er side effects

2. To develop novel anticancer drugs that w ill target and kill selectively the can­ cer cells w hile sparing the norm al cells, sim ilar to antibiotics (so-called "pen i­ cillin-like" anti-tum or drugs), w hich w ill becom e the "m agic bu llet" of cancer therapy.