The role of apoptosis in cancer development and treatment response

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Mar;5(3):231-7. doi: 10.1038/nrc1560.


The inactivation of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is central to the development of cancer. This disabling of apoptotic responses might be a major contributor both to treatment resistance and to the observation that, in many tumours, apoptosis is not the main mechanism for the death of cancer cells in response to common treatment regimens. Importantly, this suggests that other modes of cell death are involved in the response to therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53