Thirty years of BCL-2: translating cell death discoveries into novel cancer therapies Academic Article uri icon


  • The 'hallmarks of cancer' are generally accepted as a set of genetic and epigenetic alterations that a normal cell must accrue to transform into a fully malignant cancer. It follows that therapies designed to counter these alterations might be effective as anti-cancer strategies. Over the past 30 years, research on the BCL-2-regulated apoptotic pathway has led to the development of small-molecule compounds, known as 'BH3-mimetics', that bind to pro-survival BCL-2 proteins to directly activate apoptosis of malignant cells. This Timeline article focuses on the discovery and study of BCL-2, the wider BCL-2 protein family and, specifically, its roles in cancer development and therapy.


  • Delbridge, ARD
  • Grabow, S
  • Strasser, A
  • Vaux, DL

publication date

  • 2016