Future Directions

Understanding the complex molecular mechanism that regulates cell-cycle progression and is involved in tumor development and progression, still remains the major goal in cancer research. Indeed, an increased knowledge of the alteration in both pRb and p53 pathways will be useful to design appropriate anticancer treatments. A better knowledge of the epigenetic mechanism affecting key regulators of cell cycle could open up a new dimension to manage a variety of human cancers.

Animal models and human-cancer-susceptibility syndromes will continue to teach us about the physiological roles of the genes and pathways involved in DNA-damage responses. Many questions remain, such as how the cross-talk between the signaling pathways discussed here, and the processes of DNA repair and apoptosis operate. As these pathways seem to be major determinants of cellular responses to the types of cytotoxic agent that are used to treat tumors, these insights might teach new ways to treat tumors more effectively. Similarly, because these response pathways seem to be major protectors from cancer development, the study of these pathways could lead to effective and new approaches to the reduction of cancer development. In addition to the prevention of cancer and more effective treatment of malignancies, insights into the mechanisms involved in these response pathways may even shed light on the processes of aging and senescence.

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