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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2007;50(2):255-265.
Published online February 1, 2007.
Molecular biologic mechanism of drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy.
Woo Young Kim, Byoung Gie Kim
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. bgkim@smc.samsung.co.kr
Development of chemoresistance is a persistent problem during the treatment of local and disseminated disease. Elucidation of the mechanism involved in multiple drug resistance has been a major goal of cancer molecular biology. Here, we review the recent work that has identified several gene families associated with drug resistance including genes of membrane transporter, DNA damage, apoptosis, and survival signaling. These genes may be cooperatively regulated as part of gene expression program that confers drug resistance through multiple pathways. We describe various complex gene expression programs for drug resistance. Thus the altered expression of a single gene may not be predictive of response to therapy. Nevertheless, understanding of the mechanism involved in multiple drug resistance in addition to the identification of critical genes, most relevant to the development of clinical drug resistance, is important to the development of novel drugs which can evade the current resistance mechanism of the cancer cells.
Key Words: Chemotherapy. MDR, ABC transporter, DNA repair, Apoptosis, Methylation, Growth factor receptor, Signalling pathway

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