Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 283181, 16 pages
Review Article

Integrin Signaling in Cancer Cell Survival and Chemoresistance

1Pavillon CHUL, Centre de Recherche du CHUQ and Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G2
2Cancer Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

Received 18 November 2011; Accepted 10 February 2012

Academic Editor: Hamid Morjani

Copyright © 2012 Fawzi Aoudjit and Kristiina Vuori. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Resistance to apoptosis and chemotherapy is a hallmark of cancer cells, and it is a critical factor in cancer recurrence and patient relapse. Extracellular matrix (ECM) via its receptors, the integrins, has emerged as a major pathway contributing to cancer cell survival and resistance to chemotherapy. Several studies over the last decade have demonstrated that ECM/integrin signaling provides a survival advantage to various cancer cell types against numerous chemotherapeutic drugs and against antibody therapy. In this paper, we will discuss the major findings on how ECM/integrin signaling protects tumor cells from drug-induced apoptosis. We will also discuss the potential role of ECM in malignant T-cell survival and in cancer stem cell resistance. Understanding how integrins and their signaling partners promote tumor cell survival and chemoresistance will likely lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies and agents for cancer treatment.