August 2012

Right on target

But it’s important to note that kinases aren’t the only molecules that lend themselves to the endeavor of targeted therapies in cancer and other diseases. Molecules such as nuclear receptors, histone modifiers, poly ADP ribose polymerase and proteins involved in ubiquitination are all candidate targets.

Despite the obstacles, the optimism for targeted therapies is unabated. Experts urge continued support for fundamental research in molecular biology and biochemistry so that findings can be translated into the clinic in the form of targeted therapies. Byrd, who does both fundamental research and patient care, sees the bridge from bench to bedside every day. “When what you’re doing in the lab is touching patients like Dr. Hanson to put their disease into remission, that’s just very special,” he says.

  1. 1. Honigberg, L.A.; et al; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 13075 – 13080 (2010).
  2. 2. Diaz, Jr et al; Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11219 (2012). 
  3. 3. Dar, A.C. et al; Nat. Chem. Bio. DOI: 10.1038/nature11127 (2012).


Raj_MukhopadhyayRajendrani Mukhopadhyay ( is the senior science writer for ASBMB Today and the technical editor for The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Follow her on Twitter at


View a three-part video seminar by Brian Druker on targeted therapies, as prepared in 2010 for iBio Seminars:


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