Multidrug resistance, mediated by members of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins superfamily, has become one of the biggest obstacles in conquering tumour progression. If the chemotherapy outcome is considered successful, when the primary tumour volume is decreased or completely abolished, modulation of ABC proteins activity is one of the best methods to overcome drug resistance. However, if a positive outcome is represented by no metastasis or, at least, elongation of remission-free time, then the positive effect of ABC proteins inhibition should be compared with the several side effects it causes, which may inflict cancer progression and decrease overall patient health. Clinical trials conducted thus far have shown that the tested ABC modulators add limited or no benefits to cancer patients, as some of them are merely toxic and others induce unwanted drug–drug interactions. Moreover, the inhibition of certain ABC members has been recently indicated as potentially responsible for increased fibroblasts migration. A better understanding of the complex role of ABC proteins in relation to cancer progression may offer novel strategies in cancer therapy.
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