Therapeutic Targeting of Apoptotic Pathways in Cancer

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Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is a key tumor suppressor mechanism. Consequently, most if not all cancers develop mechanisms to abolish or circumvent this genetic program. Besides enabling malignant transformation and tumor progression, defects in apoptosis can result in resistance to cytotoxic cancer therapies. Much progress has been made in the delineation of the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. This allows the identification of target molecules and lead compounds to develop novel therapies, which make use of this intrinsic death program for the treatment of cancer. Here, we review the current understanding of apoptotic signal transduction pathways, and strategies of their therapeutic modulation in relation to lymphoma and other cancers.

Keywords: BH3-only proteins; Mouse-double-minute-2 (MDM-2); TNF receptor superfamily; p53 Gene Transfer; pro-apoptotic genes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Medicine III,Johannes Gutenberg University, Langenbeckstrasse 1, D-55131 Mainz,Germany.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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