CRISPR screens and the best cancer drug targets: picking the needle out of the haystack

Francesca Pentimalli


In the past two decades, the clinical management of cancer patients, mostly based on the use of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, has been revolutionized by the development of precision medicine and new immunotherapy approaches, two new pillars in cancer therapeutics. The ways to treat cancer have enormously increased providing more tailored approaches to cancer patients, who can be offered a wider range of therapeutic options. Despite such progress, however, the huge heterogeneity of tumors and their ability to develop resistance to therapies make cancer a moving target. Cancer-specific dependencies and the best drug targets need to be identified to increase even more the arsenal of weapons that can be used at different stages of treatment in a sequential manner to defeat the disease or make it become chronic.