Targeting the Intrinsic Apoptosis Pathway: A Window of Opportunity for Prostate Cancer.
de Bono, JS
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Despite major improvements in the management of advanced prostate cancer over the last 20 years, the disease remains invariably fatal, and new effective therapies are required. The development of novel hormonal agents and taxane chemotherapy has improved outcomes, although primary and acquired resistance remains problematic. Inducing cancer cell death via apoptosis has long been an attractive goal in the treatment of cancer. Apoptosis, a form of regulated cell death, is a highly controlled process, split into two main pathways (intrinsic and extrinsic), and is stimulated by a multitude of factors, including cellular and genotoxic stress. Numerous therapeutic strategies targeting the intrinsic apoptosis pathway are in clinical development, and BH3 mimetics have shown promising efficacy for hematological malignancies. Utilizing these agents for solid malignancies has proved more challenging, though efforts are ongoing. Molecular characterization and the development of predictive biomarkers is likely to be critical for patient selection, by identifying tumors with a vulnerability in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. This review provides an up-to-date overview of cell death and apoptosis, specifically focusing on the intrinsic pathway. It summarizes the latest approaches for targeting the intrinsic apoptosis pathway with BH3 mimetics and discusses how these strategies may be leveraged to treat prostate cancer.
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Cancers, 2021, 14 (1)