Trends Mol Med. 2004; 10:351-357.
The RET proto-oncogene: A valuable target for molecular cancer therapy.
The inhibition of activated receptor tyrosine kinases has defined a new era of selective cancer therapy. The value of these approaches has been demonstrated for a growing number of tyrosine kinases. Gain-of-function alterations within the RET proto-oncogene are responsible for the development of medullary, as well as papillary, thyroid carcinoma and make it a candidate for the design of targeted therapies. Recently, various strategies have been used to block the activity of RET in pre-clinical models, providing evidence that RET is a potential target for a selective cancer-therapy approach, especially when considering that the inhibition of RET activity is sufficient to revert neoplastic characteristics. Although the ideal clinically useful therapeutic option has yet to be developed, successes with other selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors encourages further effort.