Apoptosis and lung cancer: a review

J Cell Biochem. 2003 Apr 1;88(5):885-98. doi: 10.1002/jcb.10440.


It is important to understand the molecular events that contribute to drug-induced apoptosis, and how tumors evade apoptotic death. Defects in apoptosis are implicated in both tumorigenesis and drug resistance, and these defects are cause of chemotherapy failures. These studies should explain the relationship between cancer genetics and treatment sensitivity, and should enable a more rational approach to anticancer drug design and therapy. Lung cancer is a major cause of cancer deaths throughout the world. Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) represent the two major categories of lung cancer that differ in their sensitivity to undergo apoptosis. The role of apoptosis regulation in lung cancer with major focus on the differential sensitivities of the major subtypes is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / physiopathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / physiopathology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Genes, bcl-2 / genetics
  • Genes, bcl-2 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Precancerous Conditions / enzymology
  • Precancerous Conditions / physiopathology*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • PYCARD protein, human
  • Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases