Tumour drivers and resistance (TDR)

Developing therapies that target the genetic mutations and resistance mechanisms that enable cancer cells to evade treatment, survive, and proliferate

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What are tumour drivers and resistance (TDR) and why are they important?

Cancer is caused by disruptions to the normal processes that regulate cell division.1 These changes often result from genetic mutations that cause the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells that eventually become tumours.1

Medicines have been developed that directly target the specific mutations and tumour drivers that fuel cancer. However, many patients who initially respond to targeted therapies typically develop resistance to these treatments.2 Resistance can occur in two ways: the target itself can change through a secondary mutation, or the tumour can find an alternative growth pathway, rendering the drug ineffective.2


What we’re working on

AstraZeneca is developing therapies that block the mutations and resistance mechanisms that cause cancer cells to proliferate, with the goal of extending survival by targeting multiple biological pathways simultaneously and combatting cancer as it evolves at every stage.



1. The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. A beginner’s guide to BRCA1 and BRCA2. Available at: https://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/files_trust/beginners-guide-to-brca1-andbrca2.PDF. Accessed May 2019.

2. The National Cancer Institute. What is Cancer? fact sheet. [Internet]. 2019 [updated February 2015; cited 2019 May 24]. Available from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer.