Cancer is a devastating disease that claims over 8 million lives each year. Understanding the molecular etiology of the disease is critical to identify and develop new therapeutic strategies and targets. Chromosome instability (CIN) is an abnormal phenotype, characterized by progressive numerical and/or structural chromosomal changes, which is observed in virtually all cancer types. CIN generates intratumoral heterogeneity, drives cancer development, and promotes metastatic progression, and thus, it is associated with highly aggressive, drug-resistant tumors and poor patient prognosis. As CIN is observed in both primary and metastatic lesions, innovative strategies that exploit CIN may offer therapeutic benefits and better outcomes for cancer patients. Unfortunately, exploiting CIN remains a significant challenge, as the aberrant mechanisms driving CIN and their causative roles in cancer have yet to be fully elucidated. The development and utilization of CIN-exploiting therapies is further complicated by the associated risks for off-target effects and secondary cancers. Accordingly, this review will assess the strengths and limitations of current CIN-exploiting therapies, and discuss emerging strategies designed to overcome these challenges to improve outcomes and survival for patients diagnosed with cancer.
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