Mitosis as an anti-cancer target

Oncogene. 2011 Jun 23;30(25):2799-809. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.30. Epub 2011 Feb 21.


Most of the current drugs used to treat cancer can be classified as anti-proliferative drugs. These drugs perturb the proliferative cycle of tumor cells at diverse stages of the cell cycle. Examples of such drugs are DNA-damaging agents and inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases that arrest cell cycle progression at different stages of interphase. Another class of anti-proliferative drugs is the so-called anti-mitotic drugs, which selectively perturb progression through mitosis. Mitosis is the shortest and final stage in the cell cycle and has evolved to accurately divide the duplicated genome over the two daughter cells. This review deals with the different strategies that are currently considered to perturb mitotic progression in the treatment of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Centrosome
  • Chromosomal Instability
  • Humans
  • Mitosis / drug effects*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Polyploidy


  • Antineoplastic Agents