Apoptosis pathway-targeted drugs--from the bench to the clinic

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Dec 10;1705(1):53-66. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2004.09.005.


It is an exciting time for cancer researchers in the field of apoptotic cell death. The avalanche of discoveries over the past decade or so regarding how apoptosis is regulated begins to be exploited for therapeutic benefit as the first apoptosis-targeted drugs enter early clinical trials. This chapter provides a selective review on the development of such drugs. We also outline issues regarding the regulation and design of early clinical trials of this type of molecularly targeted agent. Finally, we discuss the biomarkers and surrogate pharmacodynamic endpoint assays currently available to chart the efficacy of apoptosis-inducing anticancer therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Phosphotransferases / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / pharmacology
  • Quality Control
  • Signal Transduction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Phosphotransferases