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Trends Mol Med. 2006 Aug;12(8):382-93. Epub 2006 Jun 23.

Targeted induction of apoptosis for cancer therapy: current progress and prospects.

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Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration (GUIDE), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Section Medical Biology, Laboratory for Tumor Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Important breakthroughs in cancer therapy include clinical application of antibodies, such as Rituximab, and small inhibitory molecules, such as Iressa and Velcade. In addition, recent reports have indicated the therapeutic potential of physiological pro-apoptotic proteins such as TRAIL and galectin-1. Although unrelated at first glance, each strategy relies on the deliberate and selective induction of apoptosis in malignant cells. Importantly, therapy-resistance in cancer is frequently associated with de-regulation in the mechanisms that control apoptosis. However, cancer cells are often reliant on these molecular aberrations for survival. Therefore, selective induction of apoptosis in cancer cells but not normal cells seems feasible. Here, we review recent progress and prospects of selected novel anti-cancer approaches that specifically target and sensitize cancer cells to apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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