Small molecule drug« Back to Glossary Index
A small molecule drug is a drug that can enter cells easily because it has a low molecular weight. Once inside the cells, it can affect other molecules, such as proteins, and may cause cancer cells to die. This is different from drugs that have a large molecular weight, which keeps them from getting inside cells easily. Many targeted therapies are small-molecule drugs.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Dictionary of Cancer Terms
NCATS Toolkit for Patient-Focused Therapy Development: Discovery of Therapeutic Approach