Targeting TRAIL death receptors

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;8(4):433-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.06.011. Epub 2008 Jul 28.


The natural occurring tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis following binding to the two TRAIL death receptors (DRs). Its recombinant form and monoclonal antibodies against the TRAIL DRs induce cell death in a wide variety of tumor cell lines and xenografts without causing toxicity to normal cells and are therefore potential attractive anticancer agents. These agents are currently in early clinical development. The phase 1 and 2 studies showed until now limited toxicity and tumor responses have been observed. Ongoing studies focus especially on combination of these agents with other targeted therapies or cytotoxic therapies. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on these agents and highlight their potential role in the intrinsically chemotherapy-resistant glioblastomas. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms to sensitize tumors cells to rhTRAIL by combination with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Glioma / drug therapy
  • Glioma / pathology
  • HLA-DR4 Antigen / drug effects
  • HLA-DR5 Antigen / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Death Domain / drug effects*
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / drug effects*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Boronic Acids
  • HLA-DR4 Antigen
  • HLA-DR5 Antigen
  • Pyrazines
  • Receptors, Death Domain
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Bortezomib