Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 281–295 | Cite as

Programmed Cell Death, from a Cancer Perspective: An Overview

  • Abhay P. Mishra
  • Bahare Salehi
  • Mehdi Sharifi-Rad
  • Raffaele Pezzani
  • Farzad Kobarfard
  • Javad Sharifi-Rad
  • Manisha Nigam
Review Article


Programmed cell death (PCD) is probably the most widely discussed subject among the topics of cancer therapy. Over the last 2 decades an astonishing boost in our perception of cell death has been seen, and its role in cancer and cancer therapy has been thoroughly investigated. A number of discoveries have clarified the molecular mechanism of PCD, thus expounding the link between PCD and therapeutic tools. Even though PCD is assumed to play a major role in anticancer therapy, the clinical relevance of its induction remains uncertain. Since PCD involves multiple death programs including programmed necrosis and autophagic cell death, it has contributed to our better understanding of cancer pathogenesis and therapeutics. In this review, we discuss a brief outline of PCD types as well as their role in cancer therapeutics. Since irregularities in the cell death process are frequently found in various cancers, key proteins governing cell death type could be used as therapeutic targets for a wide range of cancer.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Abhay P. Mishra, Bahare Salehi, Mehdi Sharifi-Rad, Raffaele Pezzani, Farzad Kobarfard, Javad Sharifi-Rad and Manisha Nigam declare no conflict of interest.


The authors have no funding to declare.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical ChemistryH. N. B. Garhwal (A Central) UniversitySrinagar GarhwalIndia
  2. 2.Medical Ethics and Law Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Medical ParasitologyZabol University of Medical SciencesZabolIran
  4. 4.OU Endocrinology, Dept. Medicine (DIMED)University of PadovaPaduaItaly
  5. 5.AIROB, Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca Oncologica di BasePaduaItaly
  6. 6.Phytochemistry Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  7. 7.Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of PharmacyShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  8. 8.Department of Chemistry, Richardson College for the Environmental Science ComplexThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  9. 9.Department of BiochemistryH. N. B. Garhwal (A Central) UniversitySrinagar GarhwalIndia

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