Stress management by autophagy: Implications for chemoresistance

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Development of chemoresistance, which limits the efficiency of anticancer agents, has long been a major problem in cancer therapy and urgently needs to be solved to improve clinical outcomes. Factors contributing to chemoresistance are various, but a key factor is the cell's capability for stress management. Autophagy, a favored survival strategy that organisms employ to get over many kinds of stress, is emerging as a crucial player in drug resistance. It has been shown that autophagy facilitates the resistance of tumor cells to anticancer agents, and abrogation of autophagy could be therapeutically beneficial in some cases, suggesting autophagy could be a promising target for cancer treatments. Thus, defining the roles of autophagy in chemoresistance, and the mechanisms involved, will be critical to enhance the efficiency of chemotherapy and develop novel anticancer strategy interventions.

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