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Curr Drug Targets. 2006 Oct;7(10):1361-9.

Therapeutic targeting of apoptotic pathways in cancer.

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


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.

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