Death and anti-death: tumour resistance to apoptosis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2002 Apr;2(4):277-88. doi: 10.1038/nrc776.


Every cell in a multicellular organism has the potential to die by apoptosis, but tumour cells often have faulty apoptotic pathways. These defects not only increase tumour mass, but also render the tumour resistant to therapy. So, what are the molecular mechanisms of tumour resistance to apoptosis and how can we use this knowledge to resensitize tumour cells to cancer therapy?

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Ligands
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53