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Terminal Ballistics of Kinase Inhibitors: There Are No Magic Bullets

Michael L. Maitland, MD, PhD; and Mark J. Ratain, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest:Consultancies: M.J. Ratain (Novartis and Genentech); Honoraria: M.L. Maitland (Bayer), M.J. Ratain (Onyx); Expert testimony: M.J. Ratain (Pfizer); Grants received: M.J. Ratain (Bayer); Grants pending: M.L. Maitland (Bayer); Patents pending: M.L. Maitland and M.J. Ratain (sorafenib [Bayer and Onyx] for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension).

Requests for Single Reprints: Mark J. Ratain, MD, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 2115, Chicago, IL 60637; e-mail, mratain@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Maitland and Ratain: University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 2115, Chicago, IL 60637.

Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(9):702-703. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-145-9-200611070-00015
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Terminal ballistics is the study of the motion and consequent effects of projectiles, especially bullets, as they interact with their intended targets. How ammunition behaves once it enters and (sometimes) exits the body is crucial information for emergency physicians and trauma surgeons for optimal management of gunshot wounds (1). Since the “founder of chemotherapy,” Paul Ehrlich, described a drug that would eliminate disease precisely and efficiently as a “magic bullet,” oncologists have been prone to militaristic metaphors (2). For optimal care of patients with cancer, it has become increasingly important for oncologists and their internal medicine colleagues to study the terminal ballistics of the newest class of anticancer agents, kinase inhibitors.

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