Background: The implementation of new therapeutic options for the management of metastatic colon cancer mandates a revisit to apoptosis and its role in colon cancer tumorigenesis with an emphasis on the mechanisms leading to chemotherapeutic resistance and immune system evasion of colon cancer cells. Data sources: Literature regarding molecular apoptosis mechanisms and the role of apoptosis in colon cancer progression are reviewed by this article. Conclusion: Programmed cell death has rapidly emerged as a potential target for cancer treatment at various stages of tumor progression. Chemoprevention, immuno-regulation, and metastasis are prospective targets by which apoptotic mechanisms could be utilized in the prevention and management of tumorigenesis. Understanding how defects in the death receptor pathway of apoptosis permit colon cancer cells to escape the immune system would allow for treatment options whereby the body's immune system could again recognize and eliminate unwanted cells.
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