An organizing principle for cancer therapeutics

As knowledge of the human genome advances, physicians are finding ways to tailor cancer prevention and treatment to specific molecular targets, according to Richard Klausner, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute. Speaking at grand rounds in February on The Taxonomy of Molecular Targets, Klausner said, “I think we are beginning to see ways that we can organize the extraordinary complexity of genetic change in cancer.” The challenge for oncology and general medicine, he said, is to develop a usable, meaningful phenotypic database. “We are going to have a hard time developing successful therapies if we can’t understand the targets we’re looking at.”