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Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 1;66(19):9349-51.

Autophagy in cancer: good, bad, or both?

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Department of Pharmacology and University of Colorado Cancer Center, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Autophagy has been recognized as an important cellular process for at least 50 years; however, it is only with the recent identification of key regulators of autophagy (Atg genes) that we have begun a mechanistic exploration of its importance in cancer. Recent studies suggest that autophagy may be important in the regulation of cancer development and progression and in determining the response of tumor cells to anticancer therapy. However, the role of autophagy in these processes is complicated and may, depending on the circumstances, have diametrically opposite consequences for the tumor. In this article, we discuss recent discoveries regarding autophagy in cancer.

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