Combination therapy has become an important strategy for treating cancer in recent years. Ceramide, which is a powerful
tumor suppressor, regulating the processes of cell proliferation, differentiation, senescence and apoptosis, has attracted tremendous
attention in combination therapy for cancer treatment. It has been demonstrated that combination of chemotherapeutic drugs and ceramide
led to a reversion of multidrug resistance (MDR), synergistic tumor inhibition while simultaneously reducing systemic toxicity
in cancer treatment. In this review, we aim to reveal the interactions between some anticancer drugs and ceramide, and summarize
the research progress in combination therapies based on ceramide. Synthesis, metabolism and anticancer mechanisms of ceramide
were described. Furthermore, the advantages of combination of chemotherapeutic drugs and exogenous ceramide, ceramidegenerating
agents or modulators of ceramide metabolism were highlighted. Future perspective and problems to solve before the extension
of ceramide’s applications were also discussed. It is hoped that this review will provide new ideas for combination therapies
in cancer treatment.
Keywords: Cancer, cell apoptosis, ceramide, chemotherapeutic drug, combination therapy, multidrug resistance.
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