Comparing the effects of different cell death programs in tumor progression and immunotherapy

Cell Death Differ. 2019 Jan;26(1):115-129. doi: 10.1038/s41418-018-0214-4. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


Our conception of programmed cell death has expanded beyond apoptosis to encompass additional forms of cell suicide, including necroptosis and pyroptosis; these cell death modalities are notable for their diverse and emerging roles in engaging the immune system. Concurrently, treatments that activate the immune system to combat cancer have achieved remarkable success in the clinic. These two scientific narratives converge to provide new perspectives on the role of programmed cell death in cancer therapy. This review focuses on our current understanding of the relationship between apoptosis and antitumor immune responses and the emerging evidence that induction of alternate death pathways such as necroptosis could improve therapeutic outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Necroptosis / drug effects*
  • Necroptosis / genetics
  • Necroptosis / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Signal Transduction / genetics