Conclusion

Because p53 alterations are so frequent in human tumors, the detection of p53 mutations and the analysis of the p53 pathway should be a useful diagnostic tool for rational drug or therapy development. Indeed, cancers presenting mutations of p53 tend to be more aggressive in resisting chemotherapy and are less respondent to most protocols than cancers of similar tissues expressing wild-type p53. The repair of p53 pathways in cancer cells holds tremendous promise for the development of new, safer, more selective and effective cancer treatments.

The ultimate goal of identifying prognostic indicators is that they might eventually guide oncologists in the design of appropriate treatment regimens. The principal therapeutic strategies described here will have merit in the clinic and some of them have already been found to have successful therapeutic effects. Future progress will require a precise diagnosis of the p53 pathway status of individual tumors.

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