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Adv Clin Chem. 2016;74:143-93. doi: 10.1016/bs.acc.2015.12.003. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Apoptosis Markers in Breast Cancer Therapy.

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B. J. Govt. Medical College, Pune, India. Electronic address:
B. J. Govt. Medical College, Pune, India.


Cancer is a disease characterized by a very little apoptosis, ie, genetically programmed cell death. Aberrations in apoptotic pathways are central to tumorigenesis, tumor progression, and overall tumor growth and regression in response to chemotherapy. It is now increasingly accepted that chemotherapeutic drug efficacy is partially related to its ability to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis, therefore, represents not only a vital target in cancer therapy but also a unique biomarker opportunity that has thus far been largely unexploited. In response to therapy, tumor cells undergo apoptosis and release their cellular components in the circulation. As such, these materials may serve as biomarkers to assess response. Apoptosis markers in breast cancer include circulating soluble FasL, granzyme B, and cytochrome c that increase following chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of information in the literature with respect to this approach. As such, large-scale prospective studies are clearly needed to validate this approach and more fully elucidate clinical usefulness.


Apoptosis; Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Cytochrome c; Granzyme B; Soluble Fas ligand

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