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biology homework help

Biology
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How do chemotherapy drugs work to destroy cancer cells more than normal cells. List three possible mechanisms of drug action. 

Apr 15th, 2015

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Apr 16th, 2015

Traditional chemotherapeutic agents are cytotoxic, that is to say they act by killing cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of most cancer cells. This means that chemotherapy also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. To overcome these side effects, targeted cancer therapy has been developed.

Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival. Traditional chemotherapy drugs, by contrast, act against all actively dividing cells.

Many different targeted therapies have been approved for use in cancer treatment. These therapies include hormone therapies, signal transduction inhibitors, gene expression modulator, apoptosis inducer, angiogenesis inhibitor, immunotherapies, and toxin delivery molecules.

Hormone therapies slow or stop the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors, which require certain hormones to grow. Hormone therapies act by preventing the body from producing the hormones or by interfering with the action of the hormones. Hormone therapies have been approved for both breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Signal transduction inhibitors block the activities of molecules that participate in signal transduction, the process by which a cell responds to signals from its environment. During this process, once a cell has received a specific signal, the signal is relayed within the cell through a series of biochemical reactions that ultimately produce the appropriate response(s).

Gene expression modulators modify the function of proteins that play a role in controlling gene expression.

Please refer to http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/types/targeted-therapies/targeted-therapies-fact-sheet for more details.

Apr 16th, 2015

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