The illicit generation of tetraploid cells constitutes a prominent driver of oncogenesis, as it often precedes the development of aneuploidy and genomic instability. In addition, tetraploid (pre-)malignant cells display an elevated resistance against radio- and chemotherapy. Here, we report a strategy to preferentially kill tetraploid tumor cells based on the broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor SP600125. Live videomicroscopy revealed that SP600125 affects the execution of mitosis, impedes proper cell division and/or activates apoptosis in near-to-tetraploid, though less so in parental, cancer cells. We propose a novel graphical model to quantify the differential response of diploid and tetraploid cells to mitotic perturbators, including SP600125, which we baptized “transgenerational cell fate profiling.” We speculate that this representation constitutes a valid alternative to classical “single-cell fate” and “genealogical” profiling and, hence, may facilitate the analysis of cell fate within a heterogeneous population as well as the visual examination of cell cycle alterations.
cell death; cytokinesis failure; mitotic catastrophe; microtubules; polyploidy; time-lapse microscopy
One of the driving forces of oncogenesis is tetraploidy, a duplication of the DNA content that, upon asymmetric cell division or progressive chromosome loss, can originate aneuploidy. Recent findings from our group indicate the existence of an immunosurveillance system that eliminates tetraploid cancer cells. We surmise that tetraploidy-inducing chemotherapeutic agents may elicit potent anticancer responses by re-activating this immunosurveillance system.
breast carcinoma; calreticulin; HMGB1; hyperploidy; immunogenic cell death; mitotic catastrophe
During the past 20 years, dozens—if not hundreds—of monoclonal antibodies have been developed and characterized for their capacity to mediate antineoplastic effects, either as they activate/enhance tumor-specific immune responses, either as they interrupt cancer cell-intrinsic signal transduction cascades, either as they specifically delivery toxins to malignant cells or as they block the tumor-stroma interaction. Such an intense research effort has lead to the approval by FDA of no less than 14 distinct molecules for use in humans affected by hematological or solid malignancies. In the inaugural issue of OncoImmunology, we briefly described the scientific rationale behind the use of monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy and discussed recent, ongoing clinical studies investigating the safety and efficacy of this approach in patients. Here, we summarize the latest developments in this exciting area of clinical research, focusing on high impact studies that have been published during the last 15 months and clinical trials launched in the same period to investigate the therapeutic profile of promising, yet hitherto investigational, monoclonal antibodies.
bevacizumab; dalotuzumab; ipilimumab; nimotuzumab; ramucirumab; trastuzumab
CTLA4; ipilimumab; L-BLP25; mucin 1; non-small cell lung carcinoma; PD1
Prophylactic vaccination constitutes one of the most prominent medical achievements of history. This concept was first demonstrated by the pioneer work of Edward Jenner, dating back to the late 1790s, after which an array of preparations that confer life-long protective immunity against several infectious agents has been developed. The ensuing implementation of nation-wide vaccination programs has de facto abated the incidence of dreadful diseases including rabies, typhoid, cholera and many others. Among all, the most impressive result of vaccination campaigns is surely represented by the eradication of natural smallpox infection, which was definitively certified by the WHO in 1980. The idea of employing vaccines as anticancer interventions was first theorized in the 1890s by Paul Ehrlich and William Coley. However, it soon became clear that while vaccination could be efficiently employed as a preventive measure against infectious agents, anticancer vaccines would have to (1) operate as therapeutic, rather than preventive, interventions (at least in the vast majority of settings), and (2) circumvent the fact that tumor cells often fail to elicit immune responses. During the past 30 y, along with the recognition that the immune system is not irresponsive to tumors (as it was initially thought) and that malignant cells express tumor-associated antigens whereby they can be discriminated from normal cells, considerable efforts have been dedicated to the development of anticancer vaccines. Some of these approaches, encompassing cell-based, DNA-based and purified component-based preparations, have already been shown to exert conspicuous anticancer effects in cohorts of patients affected by both hematological and solid malignancies. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of recent clinical trials that have evaluated/are evaluating purified peptides or full-length proteins as therapeutic interventions against cancer.
EGFR; MAGE-A3; NY-ESO-1; p53; RAS; WT1
Retrospective clinical data indicate that cardiac glycosides (CGs), notably digoxin, prolong the survival of carcinoma patients treated with conventional chemotherapy. CGs are known to influence the immune response at multiple levels. In addition, recent results suggest that CGs trigger the immunogenic demise of cancer cells, an effect that most likely contributes to their clinical anticancer activity.
calreticulin; digitoxin; digoxin; HMGB1; immunogenic cell death; Na+/K+ ATPase
Erlotinib was originally developed as an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-specific inhibitor for the treatment of solid malignancies, yet also exerts significant EGFR-independent antileukemic effects in vitro and in vivo. The molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical antileukemic activity of erlotinib as a standalone agent have not yet been precisely elucidated. Conversely, in preclinical settings, erlotinib has been shown to inhibit the constitutive activation of SRC kinases and mTOR, as well as to synergize with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor azacytidine (a reference therapeutic for a subset of leukemia patients) by promoting its intracellular accumulation. Here, we show that both erlotinib and gefitinib (another EGFR inhibitor) inhibit transmembrane transporters of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family, including P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), also in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells that do not overexpress these pumps. Thus, inhibition of drug efflux by erlotinib and gefitinib selectively exacerbated (in a synergistic or additive fashion) the cytotoxic response of KG-1 cells to chemotherapeutic agents that are normally extruded by ABC transporters (e.g., doxorubicin and etoposide). Erlotinib limited drug export via ABC transporters by multiple mechanisms, including the downregulation of surface-exposed pumps and the modulation of their ATPase activity. The effects of erlotinib on drug efflux and its chemosensitization profile persisted in patient-derived CD34+ cells, suggesting that erlotinib might be particularly efficient in antagonizing leukemic (stem cell) subpopulations, irrespective of whether they exhibit or not increased drug efflux via ABC transporters.
calcein; cytarabine; DiOC2(3); KO-143; MK-571; verapamil; VP16
Solid tumors are constituted of a variety of cellular components, including bona fide malignant cells as well as endothelial, structural and immune cells. On one hand, the tumor stroma exerts major pro-tumorigenic and immunosuppressive functions, reflecting the capacity of cancer cells to shape the microenvironment to satisfy their own metabolic and immunological needs. On the other hand, there is a component of tumor-infiltrating leucocytes (TILs) that has been specifically recruited in the attempt to control tumor growth. Along with the recognition of the critical role played by the immune system in oncogenesis, tumor progression and response to therapy, increasing attention has been attracted by the potential prognostic and/or predictive role of the immune infiltrate in this setting. Data from large clinical studies demonstrate indeed that a robust infiltration of neoplastic lesions by specific immune cell populations, including (but not limited to) CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes, Th1 and Th17 CD4+ T cells, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and M1 macrophages constitutes an independent prognostic indicator in several types of cancer. Conversely, high levels of intratumoral CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells, Th2 CD4+ T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, M2 macrophages and neutrophils have frequently been associated with dismal prognosis. So far, only a few studies have addressed the true predictive potential of TILs in cancer patients, generally comforting the notion that—at least in some clinical settings—the immune infiltrate can reliably predict if a specific patient will respond to therapy or not. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of clinical trials that have evaluated/are evaluating the prognostic and predictive value of the immune infiltrate in the context of solid malignancies.
biomarker; chemotherapy; cytokines; interferon γ; interleukin-10; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; transforming growth factor
Dendritic cells (DCs) occupy a central position in the immune system, orchestrating a wide repertoire of responses that span from the development of self-tolerance to the elicitation of potent cellular and humoral immunity. Accordingly, DCs are involved in the etiology of conditions as diverse as infectious diseases, allergic and autoimmune disorders, graft rejection and cancer. During the last decade, several methods have been developed to load DCs with tumor-associated antigens, ex vivo or in vivo, in the attempt to use them as therapeutic anticancer vaccines that would elicit clinically relevant immune responses. While this has not always been the case, several clinical studies have demonstrated that DC-based anticancer vaccines are capable of activating tumor-specific immune responses that increase overall survival, at least in a subset of patients. In 2010, this branch of clinical research has culminated with the approval by FDA of a DC-based therapeutic vaccine (sipuleucel-T, Provenge®) for use in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Intense research efforts are currently dedicated to the identification of the immunological features of patients that best respond to DC-based anticancer vaccines. This knowledge may indeed lead to personalized combination strategies that would extend the benefit of DC-based immunotherapy to a larger patient population. In addition, widespread enthusiasm has been generated by the results of the first clinical trials based on in vivo DC targeting, an approach that holds great promises for the future of DC-based immunotherapy. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of recently completed clinical trials and discuss the progress of ongoing studies that have evaluated/are evaluating DC-based interventions for cancer therapy.
CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes; Provenge®; Toll-like receptors; antigen-presenting cells; immunotherapy; pulsed dendritic cells
Neither the molecular mechanisms whereby cancer cells intrinsically are or become resistant to the DNA-damaging agent cisplatin nor the signaling pathways that account for cisplatin cytotoxicity have thus far been characterized in detail. In an attempt to gain further insights into the molecular cascades elicited by cisplatin (leading to resistance or underpinning its antineoplastic properties), we comparatively investigated the ability of cisplatin, C2-ceramide and cadmium dichloride, alone or in the presence of an array of mitochondrion-protective agents, to trigger the permeabilization of purified mitochondria. In addition, we compared the transcriptional response triggered by cisplatin, C2-ceramide and cadmium dichloride in non-small cell lung carcinoma A549 cells. Finally, we assessed the capacity of cisplatin, C2-ceramide and cadmium dichloride to reduce the clonogenic potential of a battery of yeast strains lacking proteins involved in the regulation of cell death, DNA damage signaling and stress management. This multipronged experimental approach revealed that cisplatin elicits signaling pathways that are for the most part “private,” i.e., that manifest limited overlap with the molecular cascades ignited by other inducers of mitochondrial apoptosis, and triggers apoptosis mainly in a transcription-independent fashion. Indeed, bona fide cisplatin-response modifiers that we have recently identified by a functional genome-wide siRNA screen are either not transcriptionally regulated during cisplatin-induced cell death or their transcriptional modulation reflects the activation of an adaptive response promoting cisplatin resistance
N-acetyl-cysteine; autophagy; bongkrekic acid; cyclosporine A; glutathione; large-amplitude swelling
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have first been characterized for their capacity to detect conserved microbial components like lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and double-stranded RNA, resulting in the elicitation of potent (innate) immune responses against invading pathogens. More recently, TLRs have also been shown to promote the activation of the cognate immune system against cancer cells. Today, only three TLR agonists are approved by FDA for use in humans: the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) and imiquimod. BCG (an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis) is mainly used as a vaccine against tuberculosis, but also for the immunotherapy of in situ bladder carcinoma. MPL (derived from the LPS of Salmonella minnesota) is included in the formulation of Cervarix®, a vaccine against human papillomavirus-16 and -18. Imiquimod (a synthetic imidazoquinoline) is routinely employed for actinic keratosis, superficial basal cell carcinoma, and external genital warts (condylomata acuminata). In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of recently completed clinical trials and discuss the progress of ongoing studies that have evaluated/are evaluating FDA-approved TLR agonists as off-label medications for cancer therapy.
Coley’s toxin; HPV; MyD88; Mycobacterium bovis; dsRNA; resiquimod
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are prototypic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) best known for their ability to activate the innate immune system in response to conserved microbial components such as lipopolysaccharide and double-stranded RNA. Accumulating evidence indicates that the function of TLRs is not restricted to the elicitation of innate immune responses against invading pathogens. TLRs have indeed been shown to participate in tissue repair and injury-induced regeneration as well as in adaptive immune responses against cancer. In particular, TLR4 signaling appears to be required for the efficient processing and cross-presentation of cell-associated tumor antigens by dendritic cells, which de facto underlie optimal therapeutic responses to some anticancer drugs. Thus, TLRs constitute prominent therapeutic targets for the activation/intensification of anticancer immune responses. In line with this notion, long-used preparations such as the Coley toxin (a mixture of killed Streptococcus pyogenes and Serratia marcescens bacteria) and the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG, an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis originally developed as a vaccine against tuberculosis), both of which have been associated with consistent anticancer responses, potently activate TLR2 and TLR4 signaling. Today, besides BCG, only one TLR agonist is FDA-approved for therapeutic use in cancer patients: imiquimod. In this Trial Watch, we will briefly present the role of TLRs in innate and cognate immunity and discuss the progress of clinical studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of experimental TLR agonists as immunostimulatory agents for oncological indications.
agatolimod; CpG-7909; MYD88; resiquimod; TRIF; VTX-2337
Alterations of mitochondrial functions are linked to multiple degenerative or acute diseases. As mitochondria age in our cells, they become progressively inefficient and potentially toxic, and acute damage can trigger the permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes to initiate apoptosis or necrosis. Moreover, mitochondria have an important role in pro-inflammatory signaling. Autophagic turnover of cellular constituents, be it general or specific for mitochondria (mitophagy), eliminates dysfunctional or damaged mitochondria, thus counteracting degeneration, dampening inflammation, and preventing unwarranted cell loss. Decreased expression of genes that regulate autophagy or mitophagy can cause degenerative diseases in which deficient quality control results in inflammation and the death of cell populations. Thus, a combination of mitochondrial dysfunction and insufficient autophagy may contribute to multiple aging-associated pathologies.
During the last two decades, a number of approaches for the activation of the immune system against cancer has been developed. These include highly specific interventions, such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and cell-based therapies, as well as relatively unselective strategies, such as the systemic administration of adjuvants and immunomodulatory cytokines. Cytokines constitute a huge group of proteins that, taken together, regulate not only virtually all the aspects of innate and cognate immunity, but also several other cellular and organismal functions. Cytokines operate via specific transmembrane receptors that are expressed on the plasma membrane of target cells and, depending on multiple variables, can engage autocrine, paracrine or endocrine signaling pathways. The most appropriate term for defining the cytokine network is “pleiotropic”: cytokines are produced by - and operate on - multiple, often overlapping, cell types, triggering context-depend biological outcomes as diverse as cell proliferation, chemotaxis, differentiation, inflammation, elimination of pathogens and cell death. Moreover, cytokines often induce the release of additional cytokines, thereby engaging self-amplificatory or self-inhibitory signaling cascades. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the biological properties of cytokines and discuss the progress of ongoing clinical studies evaluating their safety and efficacy as immunomodulatory agents against cancer.
GM-CSF; IFN; IL-2; TGFβ; TNFα; chemokines
The genetic or functional inactivation of p53 is highly prevalent in human cancers. Using high-content videomicroscopy based on fluorescent TP53+/+ and TP53−/− human colon carcinoma cells, we discovered that SP600125, a broad-spectrum serine/threonine kinase inhibitor, kills p53-deficient cells more efficiently than their p53-proficient counterparts, in vitro. Similar observations were obtained in vivo, in mice carrying p53-deficient and -proficient human xenografts. Such a preferential cytotoxicity could be attributed to the failure of p53-deficient cells to undergo cell cycle arrest in response to SP600125. TP53−/− (but not TP53+/+) cells treated with SP600125 became polyploid upon mitotic abortion and progressively succumbed to mitochondrial apoptosis. The expression of an SP600125-resistant variant of the mitotic kinase MPS1 in TP53−/− cells reduced SP600125-induced polyploidization. Thus, by targeting MPS1, SP600125 triggers a polyploidization program that cannot be sustained by TP53−/− cells, resulting in the activation of mitotic catastrophe, an oncosuppressive mechanism for the eradication of mitosis-incompetent cells.
caspases; HCT 116; high-throughput screening; mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization; MPS1
The success of anticancer chemotherapy relies at least in part on the induction of an immune response against tumor cells. Thus, tumors growing on mice that lack the pattern recognition receptor TLR4 or the purinergic receptor P2RX7 fail to respond to chemotherapy with anthracyclins or oxaliplatin in conditions in which the same neoplasms growing on immunocompetent mice would do so. Similarly, the therapeutic efficacy (measured as progression-free survival) of adjuvant chemotherapy with anthracyclins is reduced in breast cancer patients bearing loss-of-function alleles of TLR4 or P2RX7. TLR4 loss-of-function alleles also have a negative impact on the therapeutic outcome of oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer patients. Here, we report that loss-of-function TLR4 and P2RX7 alleles do not affect overall survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, irrespective of the administration and type of chemotherapy. The intrinsic characteristics of NSCLC (which near-to-always is chemoresistant and associated with poor prognosis) and/or the type of therapy that is employed to treat this malignancy (which near-to-always is based on cisplatin) may explain why two genes that affect the immune response to dying cells fail to influence the clinical progression of NSCLC patients.
IALT; calreticulin; immunogenic cell death; necrosis factor α; rs3751143; rs4986790; tumor
During the last two decades, several approaches for the activation of the immune system against cancer have been developed. These include rather unselective maneuvers such as the systemic administration of immunostimulatory agents (e.g., interleukin-2) as well as targeted interventions, encompassing highly specific monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and cell-based therapies. Among the latter, adoptive cell transfer (ACT) involves the selection of autologous lymphocytes with antitumor activity, their expansion/activation ex vivo, and their reinfusion into the patient, often in the context of lymphodepleting regimens (to minimize endogenous immunosuppression). Such autologous cells can be isolated from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes or generated by manipulating circulating lymphocytes for the expression of tumor-specific T-cell receptors. In addition, autologous lymphocytes can be genetically engineered to prolong their in vivo persistence, to boost antitumor responses and/or to minimize side effects. ACT has recently been shown to be associated with a consistent rate of durable regressions in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma patients and holds great promises in several other oncological settings. In this Trial Watch, we will briefly review the scientific rationale behind ACT and discuss the progress of recent clinical trials evaluating the safety and effectiveness of adoptive cell transfer as an anticancer therapy.
CD8; Tregs; cyclophosphamide; interferon γ; lymphodepletion; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
The long-established notion that apoptosis would be immunologically silent, and hence it would go unnoticed by the immune system, if not tolerogenic, and hence it would actively suppress immune responses, has recently been revisited. In some instances, indeed, cancer cells undergo apoptosis while emitting a spatiotemporally-defined combination of signals that renders them capable of eliciting a long-term protective antitumor immune response. Importantly, only a few anticancer agents can stimulate such an immunogenic cell death. These include cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and oxaliplatin, which are currently approved by FDA for the treatment of multiple hematologic and solid malignancies, as well as mitoxantrone, which is being used in cancer therapy and against multiple sclerosis. In this Trial Watch, we will review and discuss the progress of recent (initiated after January 2008) clinical trials evaluating the off-label use of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, oxaliplatin and mitoxantrone.
ATP; autophagy; calreticulin; HMGB1; HSP70; interferon γ
Since the advent of hybridoma technology, dating back to 1975, monoclonal antibodies have become an irreplaceable diagnostic and therapeutic tool for a wide array of human diseases. During the last 15 years, several monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been approved by FDA for cancer therapy. These mAbs are designed to (1) activate the immune system against tumor cells, (2) inhibit cancer cell-intrinsic signaling pathways, (3) bring toxins in the close proximity of cancer cells, or (4) interfere with the tumor-stroma interaction. More recently, major efforts have been made for the development of immunostimulatory mAbs that either enhance cancer-directed immune responses or limit tumor- (or therapy-) driven immunosuppression. Some of these antibodies, which are thought to facilitate tumor eradication by initiating or sustaining a tumor-specific immune response, have already entered clinical trials. In this Trial Watch, we will review and discuss the clinical progress of the most important mAbs that are have entered clinical trials after January 2008.
bevacizumab; dalotuzumab; ipilimumab; nimotuzumab; ramucirumab; trastuzumab
Frequently, low doses of toxins and other stressors not only are harmless but also activate an adaptive stress response that raise the resistance of the organism against high doses of the same agent. This phenomenon, which is known as “hormesis”, is best represented by ischemic preconditioning, the situation in which short ischemic episodes protect the brain and the heart against prolonged shortage of oxygen and nutrients. Many molecules that cause cell death also elicit autophagy, a cytoprotective mechanism relying on the digestion of potentially harmful intracellular structures, notably mitochondria. When high doses of these agents are employed, cells undergo mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization and die. In contrast, low doses of such cytotoxic agents can activate hormesis in several paradigms, and this may explain the lifespan-prolonging potential of autophagy inducers including resveratrol and caloric restriction.
The acetylase inhibitor spermidine and the sirtuin-1 activator resveratrol disrupt the antagonistic network of acetylases and deacetylases that regulate autophagy.
Autophagy protects organelles, cells, and organisms against several stress conditions. Induction of autophagy by resveratrol requires the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide–dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). In this paper, we show that the acetylase inhibitor spermidine stimulates autophagy independent of SIRT1 in human and yeast cells as well as in nematodes. Although resveratrol and spermidine ignite autophagy through distinct mechanisms, these compounds stimulate convergent pathways that culminate in concordant modifications of the acetylproteome. Both agents favor convergent deacetylation and acetylation reactions in the cytosol and in the nucleus, respectively. Both resveratrol and spermidine were able to induce autophagy in cytoplasts (enucleated cells). Moreover, a cytoplasm-restricted mutant of SIRT1 could stimulate autophagy, suggesting that cytoplasmic deacetylation reactions dictate the autophagic cascade. At doses at which neither resveratrol nor spermidine stimulated autophagy alone, these agents synergistically induced autophagy. Altogether, these data underscore the importance of an autophagy regulatory network of antagonistic deacetylases and acetylases that can be pharmacologically manipulated.
Wilson disease (WD) is a rare hereditary condition that is caused by a genetic defect
in the copper-transporting ATPase ATP7B that results in hepatic copper accumulation
and lethal liver failure. The present study focuses on the structural mitochondrial
alterations that precede clinical symptoms in the livers of rats lacking Atp7b, an
animal model for WD. Liver mitochondria from these
Atp7b–/– rats contained
enlarged cristae and widened intermembrane spaces, which coincided with a massive
mitochondrial accumulation of copper. These changes, however, preceded detectable
deficits in oxidative phosphorylation and biochemical signs of oxidative damage,
suggesting that the ultrastructural modifications were not the result of oxidative
stress imposed by copper-dependent Fenton chemistry. In a cell-free system containing
a reducing dithiol agent, isolated mitochondria exposed to copper underwent
modifications that were closely related to those observed in vivo. In this cell-free
system, copper induced thiol modifications of three abundant mitochondrial membrane
proteins, and this correlated with reversible intramitochondrial membrane
crosslinking, which was also observed in liver mitochondria from
Atp7b–/– rats. In vivo,
copper-chelating agents reversed mitochondrial accumulation of copper, as well as
signs of intra-mitochondrial membrane crosslinking, thereby preserving the functional
and structural integrity of mitochondria. Together, these findings suggest that the
mitochondrion constitutes a pivotal target of copper in WD.
For a long time, it was commonly believed that efficient anticancer regimens would either trigger the apoptotic demise of tumor cells or induce a permanent arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, i.e., senescence. The recent discovery that necrosis can occur in a regulated fashion and the increasingly more precise characterization of the underlying molecular mechanisms have raised great interest, as non-apoptotic pathways might be instrumental to circumvent the resistance of cancer cells to conventional, pro-apoptotic therapeutic regimens. Moreover, it has been shown that some anticancer regimens engage lethal signaling cascades that can ignite multiple oncosuppressive mechanisms, including apoptosis, necrosis, and senescence. Among these signaling pathways is mitotic catastrophe, whose role as a bona fide cell death mechanism has recently been reconsidered. Thus, anticancer regimens get ever more sophisticated, and often distinct strategies are combined to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects. In this review, we will discuss the importance of apoptosis, necrosis, and mitotic catastrophe in the response of tumor cells to the most common clinically employed and experimental anticancer agents.
caspases; lysosomal membrane permeabilization; mitochondrial membrane permeabilization; necrosome; oncosis; phosphatidylserine; RIP1; reactive oxygen species