The RB-pathway, consisting of inhibitors and activators of cyclin-dependent kinases, the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB), and the E2F-family of transcription factors, plays critical roles in the regulation of cell cycle progression and cell death. Components of this pathway, particularly p16Ink4a, cyclin D1, and RB, are frequently altered in sporadic human cancers to promote deregulated cellular proliferation. The consistent disruption of the RB-pathway in human cancers raises the possibility of exploiting tumor-specific RB-pathway defects to improve the efficacy of current therapies and to develop new therapeutic strategies. This article discusses how the RB-pathway status impacts the cellular responses to cytotoxic, cytostatic, and hormone therapies, and how the components of the RB-pathway may be directly targeted to treat cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research