Caspase-3 and prostaglandins signal for tumor regrowth in cancer therapy
Chemo- and radio-therapeutic regimens frequently kill cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, a cell-death subroutine that involves the activation of a particular class of proteases called caspases. In a recent issue of Nature Medicine, Huang et al. (2011) show that caspase activation in dying tumor cells causes the release of soluble lipid messengers, notably prostaglandin E(2), that stimulate tumor cell proliferation. In this short review, we will discuss the clinical and therapeutic implications of these findings.