Topical Collection "Drug Resistance and Novel Therapies in Cancers"


Collection Editor
Prof. Zhixiang Wang

Signal Transduction Research Group, Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-780-492-0710
Fax: +1-780-492-1998
Interests: ErbB receptors; cell signaling; protein trafficking; breast cancer; small GTPases and cell cycle

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality in developed countries. Despite advances in treatment in all settings, disease recurrence and progression remains a major obstacle to therapy. One of the main clinical issues is the development of drug resistance. Drug resistance exists in two forms: Acquired resistance, where the drug is initially efficient but becomes ineffective over time, while intrinsic resistance occurs when a drug is ineffective from the beginning of treatment. The hallmarks of drug resistance in cancers include sustained tumor cell proliferation, insensitive to growth suppressors, resisting cell death, and active invasion.

The early drugs used in cancer treatment are all of chemical origin, and as thus, drug resistance is also called chemoresistance in cancer. However, with the development of novel cancer treatment agents, such as hormones, cytokines, antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides and siRNAs, cancer drugs now could include any agent that is used to treat cancer patients. Therefore the term drug resistance in cancer could be used to cover resistance to any cancer treatment agents.

Through intensive studies, multiple mechanisms have been identified for the development of drug resistance. In general, drug resistance could arise due to decreased intracellular drug concentrations, alterations of drug targets, epigenetic modification, and activation of certain signaling cascades These mechanisms include drug inactivation, drug target alteration, drug efflux, DNA damage repair, cell death inhibition, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and epigenetic modifications.

Many strategies have been developed to combat drug resistance, either by combining the currently available therapies or by developing novel therapies. While new chemotherapeutic agents are still developed and chemotherapy is still standard-of-care in the treatment of most cancers, the focus has shift to the development and application of novel therapeutic agents for immunotherapy and targeted therapy due to the improved understanding of tumor biology and the hallmarks of cancers. Targeted therapies have frequently been used in combination with chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy in some cases.

Prof. Dr. Zhixiang Wang
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • novel therapy
  • drug resistance
  • multidrug resistance
  • intrinsic drug resistance
  • acquired drug resistance
  • metastasis
  • apoptosis
  • disease recurrence
  • targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • hormones
  • cytokines
  • antibodies
  • antisense oligonucleotides
  • siRNAs

Published Papers (1 paper)


Open AccessReview Mechanisms Underlying the Action and Synergism of Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab in Targeting HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Cancers 2018, 10(10), 342;
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
PDF Full-text (1619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in 20–30% of breast cancers. HER2 is a preferred target for treating HER2-positive breast cancer. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are two HER2-targeted monoclonal antibodies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use
[...] Read more.
Human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in 20–30% of breast cancers. HER2 is a preferred target for treating HER2-positive breast cancer. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are two HER2-targeted monoclonal antibodies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use as adjuvant therapy in combination with docetaxel to treat metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. Adding the monoclonal antibodies to treatment regimen has changed the paradigm for treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. Despite improving outcomes, the percentage of the patients who benefit from the treatment is still low. Continued research and development of novel agents and strategies of drug combinations is needed. A thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the action and synergism of trastuzumab and pertuzumab is essential for moving forward to achieve high efficacy in treating HER2-positive breast cancer. This review examined and analyzed findings and hypotheses regarding the action and synergism of trastuzumab and pertuzumab and proposed a model of synergism based on available information. Full article

Figure 1

Back to Top