Apo2L/TRAIL ligation of specific cell surface receptors (DR4 and DR5) induces apoptosis of many malignant cells with little effect on normal cells. This anti-tumor capability has been demonstrated using cell lines of many tumor types, both in vitro and in vivo when the cells are grown as xenografts. We have extended these studies to investigate the efficacy of Apo2L/TRAIL against patient tumor xenografts in SCID mice and found that the growth of many tumors, both of primary and metastatic origin, can be inhibited by Apo2L/TRAIL. The basis of resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL induced apoptosis in malignant cells and normal cells is not completely understood, but it is known that a variety of factors including hypoxia, MMPs and cytokines present in the tumor microenvironment can influence the response of malignant cells to Apo2L/TRAIL. Currently, the clinical potential of several molecules targeting the Apo2L/TRAIL receptors DR4 and DR5 is being investigated. Our goal in this review is to provide a brief overview of a number of factors that have potential to influence the response of patient tumors to Apo2L/TRAIL.
- Tumor infiltrating leukocytes
- Tumor microenvironment
- Tumor vasculature
ASJC Scopus subject areas