Molecular Revolution

A new generation of drugs takes aim at the very heart of cancer--the abnormal genes that make cells malignant in the first place

Last week's miracle-in-mice may have launched a thousand premature hopes, but there's no doubt in the minds of cancer researchers today that a new era is dawning in the treatment of the U.S.'s No. 2 killer. Three decades ago, the Federal Government's "War on Cancer" underwrote basic discoveries about the ways broken-down genes lead to malignancies. Now that work is beginning to pay off. "The black box that was the cancer cell has been opened," says Dr. Bert Vogelstein, a world-renowned investigator of cancer genes at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. "As researchers, we feel a tremendous amount of...

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