Apoptosis and cancer: insights molecular mechanisms and treatments

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Review Paper 01/06/2012
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Apoptosis and cancer: insights molecular mechanisms and treatments

Md. Ataur Rahman, Md. Tipu Sultan, Md. Rokibul Islam
Int. J. Biomol. & Biomed.2( 1), 1-16, June 2012.
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Abstract

Apoptosis is a form of cell death that permits the removal of damaged, senescent or unwanted cells in multicellular organisms, without damage to the cellular microenvironment, but it is also involved in a wide range of pathological processes, including cancer. An understanding of the underlying mechanism of apoptosis is important as it plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Defective apoptosis represents a major causative factor in the development and progression of cancer. The majority of chemotherapeutic agents, as well as radiation, utilize the apoptotic pathway to induce cancer cell death. Recent knowledge on apoptosis has provided the basis for novel targeted therapies that exploit apoptosis to treat cancer by acting in the extrinsic/intrinsic pathway. Defects can occur at any point along these pathways, leading to malignant transformation of the affected cells, tumour metastasis and resistance to anticancer drugs. In particular, this review provides references concerning the apoptotic molecules, their interactions, the mechanisms involved in apoptosis resistance, and also the modulation of apoptosis for the treatment of cancer. Despite being the cause of problem, apoptosis plays an important role in the treatment of cancer as it is a popular target of many treatment strategies.

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