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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 382159, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/382159
Review Article

Special Agents Hunting Down Women Silent Killer: The Emerging Role of the p38α Kinase

Laboratory of Signal-dependent Transcription, Department of Translational Pharmacology (DTP), Consorzio Mario NegriSud 66030, Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy

Received 20 September 2011; Revised 21 December 2011; Accepted 29 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ritu Salani

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Grossi and Cristiano Simone. 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.

Abstract

Ovarian cancer is sensitive to chemotherapy with platinum compounds; however, the therapy success rate is significantly lowered by a high incidence of recurrence and by the acquisition of drug resistance. These negative outcomes mainly depend on altered apoptotic and drug resistance pathways, determining the need for the design of new therapeutic strategies to improve patient survival. This challenge has become even more critical because it has been recognized that hindering uncontrolled cell growth is not sufficient as the only curative approach. In fact, while current therapies are mostly conceived to impair survival of highly proliferating cells, several lines of research are now focusing on cancer-specific features to specifically target malignant cells with the aim of avoiding drug resistance and reducing adverse effects. Recently, great interest has been generated by the identification of metabolic reprogramming mechanisms occurring in cancer cells, such as the increase in glycolysis levels. In this light, pharmacologic manipulation of relevant pathways involved in cancer-specific metabolism and drug resistance could prove an effective approach to treat ovarian cancer patients.