Therapy-Induced Apoptosis in Primary Tumors

  • David J. McConkey
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 608)


An enormous body of literature has accumulated over the past 15 years implicating apoptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer cell death induced by conventional and investigational cancer therapies in preclinical models. As a result, new therapeutic approaches that directly target key components of apoptotic pathways are either entering or will soon enter clinical trials in patients, raising hopes that the information gained from the preclinical studies can be translated to improve patient care. However, there is a new appreciation for the fact that apoptosis is not the only relevant pathway that mediates physiological cell death, and many investigators are challenging the notion that targeting apoptosis is the best means of optimizing therapeutic efficacy in primary tumors. Here I will review some of the basic concepts that have emerged from the study of apoptosis in preclinical models, the evidence that apoptosis does or does not mediate the effects of current front line therapies in patients, and the new strategies that are emerging that are designed to more directly target apoptotic pathways.


Breast Cancer Proteasome Inhibitor Bortezomib Laser Scanning Cytometry Promote Caspase Activation SMAC Peptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. McConkey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cancer Biology-173University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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