The way cancer medicines are developed should be revisited. That is what NKI-researchers Rene Bernards and Joao Neto argue in a joint paper with Pfizer’s Senior Vice President of Oncology Research & Development, Jeff Settleman in Cancer Discovery today. Unlike current practice in drug research, new drugs should be considered for use in combination therapies even before they have been proven effective as a single drug. Compounds might be more effective when rationally combined based on the available biological knowledge. Also, the vulnerabilities of resistant cancer cells should be understood, and exploited, much better. This might lead to more effective drug treatment regimens and new drug targets that scientists are currently not considering. In their recent overview paper the researchers give an overview of different clinical development strategies for novel drugs (see illustration). Whether it is combining several drugs at unconventionally low doses, or giving (cancer) cells two drugs in alternating fashion, it is all about thinking outside of the current box of cancer drug treatment.