Gastrointestinal and liver cancers are among the most frequently encountered cancers
worldwide. Though great strides have been made in improving the early detection and overall patient
survival in the last decade, the currently available treatment approaches remain suboptimal due to drug resistance and side
effects. Apoptosis is the most desirable type of programmed cell death in cancer therapy. By eliminating unnecessary and
unwanted cells, apoptosis plays a critical role in development, physiology and homeostasis. Recent studies have shown
that apoptosis-inducing therapy is a safe and effective anti-cancer approach, which thus may become one of the most important
areas in cancer treatment. In this review, the authors provide an overview on the apoptosis system in multicellular
organisms and summarize the recent advances of apoptosis-inducing therapeutic strategy for gastrointestinal and liver cancers.