Autophagy and doxorubicin resistance in cancer

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Doxorubicin (DOX), also known as adriamycin, is a DNA topoisomerase II inhibitor and belongs to the family of anthracycline anticancer drugs. DOX is used for the treatment of a wide variety of cancer types. However, resistance among cancer cells has emerged as a major barrier to effective treatment using DOX. Currently, the role of autophagy in cancer resistance to DOX and the mechanisms involved have become one of the areas of intense investigation. More and more preclinical data are being obtained on reversing DOX resistance through modulation of autophagy as one of the promising therapeutic strategies. This review summarizes the recent advances in autophagy-targeting therapies that overcome DOX resistance from in-vitro studies to animal models for exploration of novel delivery systems. In-depth understanding of the mechanisms of autophagy regulation in relation to DOX resistance and development of molecularly targeted autophagy-modulating agents will provide a promising therapeutic strategy for overcoming DOX resistance in cancer treatment.

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