Paper Authors and Title

Tommy Huang (Atlantic Technological University), Annemarie Larkin, “The challenge of multiple drug resistance in the successful treatment of cancer”


The phenomenon of multiple drug resistance (MDR) is extremely concerning for the healthcare sector. Understanding the mechanisms which contributes to the formation of MDR can greatly aid in overcoming this. Multiple drug resistance (MDR) is where complex mechanisms result in resistance against structurally unrelated compounds. Objectives of this systematic review are to provide insights on the mechanisms/factors involved which contributes to the development of multiple drug resistance (MDR) in cancer, how this poses a challenge on therapeutic treatment for patients, and to examine research models in studying MDR mechanisms in cancer.

This study was conducted by extracting relevant datasets manually using advanced search options on PubMed. Key words for each section such as “cancer, in vitro models, multiple drug resistance, and mechanisms” where utilized to find the most relevant information.

It was found that efflux pumps and transporters, drug metabolism, apoptotic signaling pathways, altered drug target, DNA repair, autophagy, and undruggable drivers are some of the main mechanisms involved in MDR. It is also observed that inter/intra tumoral heterogeneity being a major challenge in the successful treatment of cancer. This leads to variations within the same tumor or variations between different tumors, thereby resulting in challenges for targeted therapies and drug options. Therefore, the use of in vitro models along with in vivo models can help in the study for the different mechanisms involved in MDR. Current methods on overcoming MDR would include but not limited to the use of combination therapy, nanomedicines, and personalized medicine approaches.