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Science 334 (6059): 1075-1076

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Priming Cancer Cells for Death

John C. Reed

Most patients with leukemia or disseminated cancer are treated with cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs that arrest malignant cell proliferation. These compounds may also kill cancer cells, but why this happens in some types of cancers but not others has not been clear. On page 1129 of this issue, Ni Chonghaile et al. (1) indicate a critical role for mitochondria-initiated cell death mechanisms controlled by Bcl-2 family proteins in dictating whether patients respond to cytotoxic anticancer drugs.

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

E-mail: jreed{at}

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Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882