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Curr Drug Targets. 2010 Jul;11(7):769-80.

Cell death targeting therapies in B lymphoid malignancies.

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  • 1Hematopathology Unit, Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Villarroel 170, Barcelona, Spain.


Programmed cell death, commonly associated with the term apoptosis, is an integrated intracellular program that plays a critical role in lymphoid tissue homeostasis. Alterations in this highly regulated process is a common feature of most lymphoid malignancies, thus facilitating tumor escape from traditional chemotherapeutic agents whose main endpoint is the induction of tumor cell death. In the last years, enormous progress has been made in understanding the deregulated signals that could lead to ineffective apoptosis in B lymphoid tumors. Consequently, several new strategies have been designed to modulate the key molecules of life-and-death decisions. Numerous novel approaches are being validated and some of them have progressed to clinical testing or have even been approved in a record time. In this review we will focus on current therapies that have demonstrated to trigger efficiently cell death in B lymphoid neoplasms, either by directly targeting the intracellular apoptotic machinery or by modulating different factors involved in its regulation.

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