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Current Cancer Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1568-0096
ISSN (Online): 1873-5576

Tumor Necrosis Factor: Renaissance as a Cancer Therapeutic?

Author(s): D. Daniel and N. S. Wilson

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2008

Page: [124 - 131] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/156800908783769346

Price: $65


Since the discovery of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, researchers have pursued many approaches to harness the potency of TNF-alpha and TNF superfamily members to treat human cancers. Several ligands of the TNF superfamily, including TNF-alpha, lymphotoxin, FAS ligand (FasL), and APO2 ligand/TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) have been tested in various stages of clinical research for their anti-tumor efficacy. Moreover, several antibodies to TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily members are now being explored as cancer therapeutics. Due to the toxicity associated with delivering TNF-alpha systemically at clinically relevant doses, more targeted methods are now seen as a likely alternative to provide a localized therapeutically effective dose of TNF-alpha. In this review we revisit historical attempts to use TNF-alpha to treat human cancer, and put this into the context of more recent targeted strategies to circumvent TNF-alphas systemic toxicity. We will attempt to integrate the results of pre-clinical and clinical trials with a concise synopsis of the TNF-alpha signaling network, with the goal of reconciling our understanding of how the cell biology and tumor biology mechanistically relate.

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