Mechanisms of Sensitivity and Resistance to CDK4/6 Inhibition

Cancer Cell. 2020 Apr 13;37(4):514-529. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.03.010.


Inhibiting the cell-cycle kinases CDK4 and CDK6 results in significant therapeutic effect in patients with advanced hormone-positive breast cancer. The efficacy of this strategy is, however, limited by innate or acquired resistance mechanisms and its application to other tumor types is still uncertain. Here, through an integrative analysis of sensitivity and resistance mechanisms, we discuss the use of CDK4/6 inhibitors in combination with available targeted therapies, immunotherapy, or classical chemotherapy with the aim of improving future therapeutic uses of CDK4/6 inhibition in a variety of cancers.

Keywords: breast cancer; cell-cycle kinases; cyclin-dependent kinases; resistance to cancer therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 6 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • CDK4 protein, human
  • CDK6 protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 6