, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 19-25

Induction of apoptosis by tumor cell-targeted toxins

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Targeted toxins are fusion proteins that combine a targeting molecule that selectively binds to and enters tumor cells with a protein toxin that kills the target cells. These molecules represent an exciting approach to develop effective cancer-specific therapeutics that have few side effects on normal tissues and numerous such toxins are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development to treat a wide variety of tumors. In this review, we discuss this strategy, describe ways that the toxins activate the apoptosis machinery and discuss future developments in this field.