Apoptosis and Tumor Suppressors
Tumor suppressors are proteins that inhibit cell growth through mechanisms like cell cycle arrest, apoptosis induction, and blocking cell survival signaling pathways. Well characterized tumor suppressors include PTEN, Rb, and p53 – mutations in the genes that encode these proteins have been associated with cancers.
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The cell cycle controls the replication of cells, and its checkpoints are strictly regulated to prevent abnormal cell proliferation. Proteins like cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and p53 play important roles in cell cycle progression or arrest, and their dysfunction can be associated with tumor growth.
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Immuno-oncology and Immunotherapy
Immuno-oncology refers to the development of immunotherapies, which are immune-based treatments, for combating cancer. These include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells engineered to recognize cancer cells, checkpoint inhibitors like anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 antibodies, cytokines like interleukins and interferons, and therapeutic vaccines that prime the immune system to attack cancer cells. Immunotherapies have shown clinical efficacy in treating cancers, which has spurred the growth of immuno-oncology research.
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