The life of most cells that acquire potentially malignant characteristics is rapidly terminated, leaving only rare incipient cancer cells in which defects in the apoptotic response allow survival and further malignant progression.
Compared with many normal tissues, cancer cells are highly sensitized to apoptotic signals, and survive only because they have acquired lesions — such as loss of p53 — that prevent or impede cell death. The aim of the present research is to understand the complex mechanisms that regulate whether or not a cell dies in response to p53 — insights that will ultimately contribute to the development of therapeutic strategies to repair the apoptotic p53 response in cancers.
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