Background: Silencing of two or more complementary signaling pathways can lead to
cell death, while loss of any single genetic function does not show a severe phnotype, this kind of
inter action is coined as “synthetic lethality”. Nowadays, synthetic lethality has become a widely
used anti-cancer strategy.
Method: We reviewed the synthetic lethal interactions exploited in anticancer therapies before 2016.
Conclusion: Synthetic lethality is a well proved anticancer strategy and more synthetic lethal
interactions is being translated into clinical cancer therapies.