Apoptosis is a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate damaged cells. Apoptosis is a naturally occurring process in the human body. The role of Apoptosis in treating cancer is significant. It is also known as programmed cell death. It is one way through which the development of cancer could be prevented. That is via the death of infected cells. A cell that becomes mutated or damaged will first tempt to repair the damage. If that is not possible the cells will commit the cellular version of suicide. Apoptosis can lead to the breakdown of the parts and the death of the cell. Cancerous cells will lose the spiracle capability and will continue to divide. This can lead to the accumulation of cells that can become more and more abnormal. Many cells in our body endure PCD (programmed cell death), or apoptosis, during fetal development. Apoptosis also may occur when a cell becomes damaged or deregulated thereby killing the damaged cells if irreparable. When functioning properly, the apoptosis induced can fight cancer by getting rid of the cancer cells.
There are a few types of cancers that persist as a result of a cell's inability to undergo apoptosis. Defective apoptosis (programmed cell death) does the reverse of what healthy apoptosis could do in treating cancer. It represents a major causative factor in the development and progression of cancer. After a series of research being done, it is now clear that Apoptosis can help to destroy the cancerous cells. However, the fact cannot be denied that some oncogenic mutations disrupt apoptosis, leading to tumor initiation, progression or metastasis. Thus it is very important to take suitable care to understand how apoptosis can provide new possibilities for diagnosing and treating cancer.