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Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Jul;5(7):573-80.

Killing time for cancer cells.

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  • 1Unit of Cellular Signalling, Department of Biological Chemistry, The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


As the signalling pathways that control cellular proliferation and death are unravelled, a range of targets have emerged as candidates for molecular cancer therapy. For their survival, cancer cells depend on a few highly activated signalling pathways; inhibition of these pathways has a strong apoptotic effect and can lead to tumour regression. But drugs that exploit this weakness, such as imatinib, have not cured patients: withdrawal of the drug leads to disease recurrence, and sustained treatment leads to the emergence of drug-resistant clones. Can cancer be cured, or will it have to be controlled as a chronic disease?

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