Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is a key tumor suppressor mechanism. Consequently, most if not all cancers develop mechanisms to abolish or circumvent this genetic program. Besides enabling malignant transformation and tumor progression, defects in apoptosis can result in resistance to cytotoxic cancer therapies. Much progress has been made in the delineation of the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. This allows the identification of target molecules and lead compounds to develop novel therapies, which make use of this intrinsic death program for the treatment of cancer. Here, we review the current understanding of apoptotic signal transduction pathways, and strategies of their therapeutic modulation in relation to lymphoma and other cancers.
Keywords: BH3-only proteins, p53 Gene Transfer, pro-apoptotic genes, TNF receptor superfamily, Mouse-double-minute-2 (MDM-2)
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