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Strategies for Overcoming Chemotherapy Resistance in Enterohepatic Tumours

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 5 ]


J.J.G. Marin, B. Castano, A.G. Blazquez, R. Rosales, T. Efferth and M.J. Monte   Pages 467 - 485 ( 19 )


When considered together, enterohepatic tumours, i.e., those affecting the liver, the biliary tree and gallbladder and the intestine, constitute the first cause of death due to cancer. Although in many cases surgery and radiotherapy are efficacious, these therapeutic strategies cannot always be implemented. Moreover, even when the removal of tumours is possible, pre- and post-operative pharmacological adjuvant regimens are often needed. However, one important limitation to the use of cytostatic drugs to treat enterohepatic tumours is that they generally exhibit marked refractivity to currently available pharmacological approaches. In addition, most of them increase their chemoresistance during treatment. In view of the high refractivity of these tumours to anti-cancer drugs and the existence of undesirable side effects, both of which are drawbacks in the available chemotherapy, several novel therapeutic approaches have been devised. The purpose of the present review is to offer some insight into the different types of strategies that have already been evaluated and incorporated into clinical practice, such as therapies based on the use of molecular targets, as well as into the approaches that are still under experimental development, such as the chemosensitization of cancer cells, genetic manipulation of tumour or host cells, and cell-specific enhancement of intracellular concentrations of the active agent by efficient targeting of pro-drugs or by using inhibitors of efflux pumps.


Chemosensitization, cholangiocarcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, drug targeting, gene therapy, hepatocarcinoma


Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Campus Miguel de Unamuno E.I.D. S-09, 37007-Salamanca, Spain.

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