ONC201: Stressing tumors to death

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Science Signaling  16 Feb 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 415, pp. fs1
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad7955

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The small molecule ONC201 was identified in a screen for compounds that would induce expression of the gene encoding tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in tumors and thus cause an autocrine- or paracrine-induced death in tumor cells. Two Research Articles in this issue of Science Signaling by Ishizawa et al. and Kline et al. describe how ONC201 can also trigger cytotoxicity by inducing a stress response. The mechanisms of the stress response induced differ between hematological malignancies and solid tumors, highlighting the complexity of ONC201-induced toxicity and raising intriguing issues of tissue-specific pathways activated by the drug.

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