MYC in oncogenesis and as a target for cancer therapies

Adv Cancer Res. 2010;107:163-224. doi: 10.1016/S0065-230X(10)07006-5.


MYC proteins (c-MYC, MYCN, and MYCL) regulate processes involved in many if not all aspects of cell fate. Therefore, it is not surprising that the MYC genes are deregulated in several human neoplasias as a result from genetic and epigenetic alterations. The near "omnipotency" together with the many levels of regulation makes MYC an attractive target for tumor intervention therapy. Here, we summarize some of the current understanding of MYC function and provide an overview of different cancer forms with MYC deregulation. We also describe available treatments and highlight novel approaches in the pursuit for MYC-targeting therapies. These efforts, at different stages of development, constitute a promising platform for novel, more specific treatments with fewer side effects. If successful a MYC-targeting therapy has the potential for tailored treatment of a large number of different tumors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Genes, myc
  • Humans
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MYCN protein, human
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc