Increasing knowledge in molecular and cellular biology along with improved imaging technology and surgical instruments has resulted in huge advances in cancer therapy. The understanding of several cellular signaling pathways has laid the solid foundation for the development of targeted chemotherapy, which in turn, has played critical roles in increasing the survival rates of many types of cancer during the last decade. As a consequence, molecular diagnostic tests have emerged as an important step in order to plan the most appropriate treatment strategies for each case. In this chapter, we will describe classical examples of targeted cancer therapies and illustrate how similar approaches could benefit the treatment of yet incurable neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: DNA, genome, mutations, polymorphism, risk factors, biomarker, targeted therapy, drug discovery, prevention, early intervention, cancer, personalized medicine, molecular diagnosis, molecular and cellular biology, neurodegenerative diseases, amyloid precursor protein, α-synuclein, apolipoprotein E, Aβ-peptide clearance, Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson´s disease.