The Myc oncoprotein as a therapeutic target for human cancer

Semin Cancer Biol. 2006 Aug;16(4):318-30. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2006.07.015. Epub 2006 Aug 3.


Myc expression is deregulated in a wide range of human cancers and is often associated with aggressive, poorly differentiated tumors. The Myc protein is a transcription factor that regulates a variety of cellular processes including cell growth and proliferation, cell-cycle progression, transcription, differentiation, apoptosis, and cell motility. Potential strategies that either inhibit the growth promoting effect of Myc and/or activate its pro-apoptotic function are presently being explored. In this review, we give an overview of Myc activation in human tumors and discuss current strategies aimed at targeting Myc for cancer treatment. Such therapies could have potential in combination with mechanistically different cytotoxic drugs to combat and eradicate tumors cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc