Strategies to enhance the anticancer potential of TNF

Pierluigi Pilati, Carlo Riccardo Rossi, Simone Mocellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antitumor activity is evident in several preclinical models and in non-comparative clinical trials, no evidence exists that TNF-based treatments increase patient survival. Furthermore, due to systemic toxicity, TNF can only be administered via sophisticated drug-delivery systems in patients with solid tumors confined to one extremity or organ. The impossibility to administer TNF systemically does not allow to test the effectiveness of this cytokine in other clinical settings for the treatment of a broader spectrum of tumor types. Dissecting the cascade of molecular events underlying tumor sensitivity to TNF researchers will allow to further exploit the anticancer potential of this molecule. The rational for the development of strategies aimed at sensitizing malignant cells to TNF is to modulate tumor-specific molecular derangements in order to maximize the selectivity of TNF cytotoxicity towards cancer. This would enhance the anticancer activity of current TNF-based locoregional regimens and would pave the way to the systemic administration of this cytokine and thus to a much wider clinical experimentation of TNF in the oncology field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3181-3193
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Cancer
  • Oncology
  • Review
  • Sensitizers
  • Therapy
  • TNF
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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