Treat cancers by targeting survivin: Just a dream or future reality?

Mohane Selvaraj Coumar, Fang Ying Tsai, Jagat Rakesh Kanwar, Sailu Sarvagalla, Chun Hei Antonio Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Since the discovery of survivin (BIRC5) as a cancer-related molecule by Grazia Ambrosini and Dario C. Altieri at 1997, our knowledge related to the function of this molecule has been extended from simple apoptosis inhibition to complicated, interlinked processes that involve interference of mitosis, apoptosis, autophagy, and even DNA repair recently. However, despite the growing amount of knowledge related to survivin in the last ten years, the development of survivin inhibitors or survivin-related molecular therapies is surprisingly and relatively slow as compared to other therapeutic inhibitors for cancer treatment. Here, the molecular functions of survivin and the progress of development of survivin-targeting therapies are discussed in detail. Functional differences between different survivin-specific inhibitors are discussed from both structural and biochemical point of views. This review also reveals different challenges that scientists are currently facing in the development of survivin inhibitors for clinical application. Finally, future directions for the development of survivin-targeted therapies are discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-811
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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