With almost 4000 citations in Medline in a little over 10 years, survivin has certainly kept scores of investigators busy worldwide. Tangible progress has been made in revealing the multiple functions of survivin, uncovering their wirings as integrated cellular networks, and mapping their exploitation in virtually every human tumor, in vivo. Considering the normally long and excruciating timeline of oncology drug discovery, it is clearly a resounding success that a better understanding of survivin biology has led to several clinical trials of survivin-based therapeutics in cancer patients. However, the portfolio of survivin antagonists available in the clinic remains small, pressing the need for a less rigid drug development approach to fully unlock the potential of this unique, albeit unconventional oncology drug target.
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