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Growth and differentiation factors as cancer therapeutics

  • Kapil Mehta
  • Robert K. Oldham
Chapter

Abstract

Differentiation therapy for the treatment of malignant disorders offers an attractive alternative to the conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. The concept of differentiation therapy is based on the principle of ‘reform’ rather than ‘retaliation’. The perception that malignant cell results from a block in the differentiation pathway has led to a conceptual strategy to remove this block and to re-establish normal homeostasis. Differentiation therapy, in general, is associated with a growth arrest and long-term commitment of the cell to die via apoptosis or senescence. The conventional cytotoxic therapy contrasts with the differentiation therapy in that there is no attempt to restore normal homeostasis in the former case and it is accompanied by immediate cell death. Therefore, differentiation therapy may offer the opportunity for the use of the new, relatively nontoxic agents, as well as the use of current chemotherapeutic agents at doses significantly lower than those maximally tolerated. Combining low-dose of chemotherapy with one or more differentiation agents may also be of particular interest in the management of disorders resistant to conventional drug therapy.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kapil Mehta
  • Robert K. Oldham

There are no affiliations available

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