The DNA damage response and cancer therapy

Nature. 2012 Jan 18;481(7381):287-94. doi: 10.1038/nature10760.


Genomic instability is one of the most pervasive characteristics of tumour cells and is probably the combined effect of DNA damage, tumour-specific DNA repair defects, and a failure to stop or stall the cell cycle before the damaged DNA is passed on to daughter cells. Although these processes drive genomic instability and ultimately the disease process, they also provide therapeutic opportunities. A better understanding of the cellular response to DNA damage will not only inform our knowledge of cancer development but also help to refine the classification as well as the treatment of the disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage* / drug effects
  • DNA Repair / drug effects
  • Genomic Instability / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects


  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases