Researchers in targeted therapies aim for specificity and safety. Knowing the specific genetic defects connected to cancer may help scientists develop customized drugs to maximize therapeutic efficacy. In 2001, the development of targeted therapies got a boost with the Food and Drug Administration's approval of Gleevec, a drug developed by Novartis to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia, and the completion of Phase II clinical trials of Mylotarg, which applies antibody-targeted chemotherapy to fight acute myelogenous leukemia. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center created Mylotarg.

As scientists unearth the roots of cancers, they are working just as quickly to figure out how to stop their growth. "We would like to find out the pathway leading to brain tumors, the correlation between pathology and genetics in human brain tumors, and identify the etiology," says Hiroko Ohagaki, chief of molecular pathology at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Both the IARC...

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