Apoptosis and drug response

Curr Opin Oncol. 1999 Nov;11(6):475-81. doi: 10.1097/00001622-199911000-00008.


Recent investigation further defines the role of p53 and of signaling events upstream and downstream of p53 in apoptosis following drug-induced DNA damage. The transcription factors NF-kappaB and AP-1 can be activated, and then directly transactivate FasL in response to chemotherapeutic agents. Death receptors for FasL (Fas) and for TRAIL (DR4, DR5) are emerging as important regulators of drug-induced apoptosis in human cancers, mediated by caspase activation. Apoptosis has been accepted as the predominant mechanism of drug-induced cell death in preclinical experimental models and in clinically sensitive tumors. However, drug-induced cell death can include acute or delayed apoptosis, necrosis, or a delayed mitotic death, and require further delineation for their relative contribution to tumor responses in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • DNA Damage
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology