Therapeutic targeting of tumor suppressor genes

Cancer. 2015 May 1;121(9):1357-68. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29140. Epub 2014 Dec 29.


Carcinogenesis is a multistep process attributable to both gain-of-function mutations in oncogenes and loss-of-function mutations in tumor suppressor genes. Currently, most molecular targeted therapies are inhibitors of oncogenes, because inactivated tumor suppressor genes have proven harder to "drug." Nevertheless, in cancers, tumor suppressor genes undergo alteration more frequently than do oncogenes. In recent years, several promising strategies directed at tumor suppressor genes, or the pathways controlled by these genes, have emerged. Here, we describe advances in a number of different methodologies aimed at therapeutically targeting tumors driven by inactivated tumor suppressor genes.

Keywords: cancer; oncogene; therapeutic targeting; tumor suppressor gene.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • DNA Repair
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53