Life after Cell Death—Survival and Survivorship Following Chemotherapy

Tamara Mc Erlain, Aileen Burke, Cristina M. Branco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


To prevent cancer cells replacing and outnumbering their functional somatic counterparts, the most effective solution is their removal. Classical treatments rely on surgical excision, chemical or physical damage to the cancer cells by conventional interventions such as chemo- and radiotherapy, to eliminate or reduce tumour burden. Cancer treatment has in the last two decades seen the advent of increasingly sophisticated therapeutic regimens aimed at selectively targeting cancer cells whilst sparing the remaining cells from severe loss of viability or function. These include small molecule inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies and a myriad of compounds that affect metabolism, angiogenesis or immunotherapy. Our increased knowledge of specific cancer types, stratified diagnoses, genetic and molecular profiling, and more refined treatment practices have improved overall survival in a significant number of patients. Increased survival, however, has also increased the incidence of associated challenges of chemotherapy-induced morbidity, with some pathologies developing several years after termination of treatment. Long-term care of cancer survivors must therefore become a focus in itself, such that along with prolonging life expectancy, treatments allow for improved quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2942
Number of pages17
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2021


  • chemotherapy
  • metastasis
  • co-morbidities


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