The ability to analyze the genetic and epigenetic aberrations present in a particular patient's tumor on a global basis is rapidly maturing. The emerging fields of functional genomics and functional proteomics offer the opportunity to translate these advances into a full comprehension of the pathophysiology of cancer. Linking these approaches to chemical genomics and molecular therapeutics should provide an expanding repertoire of targeted therapeutics for clinical evaluation. Novel clinical trial designs that can determine the efficacy of targeted therapeutics in patients selected for aberrations in the target are needed to evaluate the wealth of new drugs becoming available. The promise of these technologies and advances in our understanding of cancer is immense, making it our responsibility to see them to fruition. These technologies should lead to a new era of individualized molecular medicine, wherein we will treat each patient with a "prescription" based on the genetic changes in each patient's tumor and their own genetic make-up, resulting in more effective and less toxic therapy.
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