A fundamental hallmark of cancer is uncontrolled cell division. In an effort to understand this process, researchers have focused on characterizing the signaling proteins that govern the regulation of the cell cycle. Specific cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) and their activating cyclin subunits are desirable therapeutic targets because they regulate a cell’s transition through different phases and checkpoints in the cycle, providing opportunities to block dysregulated cell division and therefore block tumor growth. In recent years, researchers have seen success with FDA-approved treatments that target CDK4/6 at the G1/S checkpoint of the cell cycle in estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers. Many clinical trials are ongoing, not only to test new drugs, but also to examine the effects of combinatorial therapies on various cancer types. In their presentations, our speakers will discuss the intricate interactions between key cell-cycle proteins and how therapeutic interventions can target their activity to fight common cancers.
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Watch Part 1 of the Deciphering Immuno-oncology series: Targeting cellular mechanisms of the tumor immune response