Cancer is a leading cause of death in human beings. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and biologically targeted therapy are common modalities for cancer treatment. However, cancer resistance is common in chemotherapy and often leads to therapeutic failure. This chapter addresses the role of apoptosis in tumor’s resistance to chemotherapy and the underlying mechanisms. Cancer cells are always resistant to apoptotic signals via a series of biochemical changes. Cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapeutic agents that are potent apoptosis inducers via multiple mechanisms, such as upregulated anti-apoptotic signals and downregulated pro-apoptotic signals, faulty apoptotic signaling, faulty apoptosis initiation and implementation, etc. We also discuss the possible approaches to overcoming cancer resistance to chemotherapy due to altered apoptosis.
Part of the book: Current Understanding of Apoptosis