Recent progress in apoptosis triggering facilitated by HeLa Studies

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0022

Objective: Cancer is a leading cause of death globally, prompting numerous efforts to find effective treatments. HeLa cells, derived from Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous squamous cells, have played a crucial role in cancer research due to their origin, resistance, and rapid growth. They are particularly useful for studying ways of cellular death triggering, or apoptosis, without an immune response. Thus, the objective of this paper was to review the latest publications on the subject of HeLa apoptosis so that a brief view to be available on the otherwise so extended subject.
Methodology: To provide a concise review of the extensive research on this topic, a search was conducted using the phrase “HeLa cells apoptosis triggering” on PubMed. The articles that were published in English, in the last 6 years, presenting results sustained by valid morphological and chemical apoptotic changes present in cells, were selected and reviewed. A comprehensive table presenting the apoptotic mechanism exerted by each substance was made to assure a concise presentation of the results.
Results: The reviewed studies have shown that many natural substances exhibit pro-apoptotic activity on malignant cells and can be used as chemotherapeutic agents. Some synthetic molecules were showed to have good results too. Important facts about these substances, their intervention site and metabolic modifications are presented in a concise form. The use of nano-carriers for targeted delivery was shown to increase their specificity towards cancerous cells.
Conclusions: HeLa cells were a groundbreaking discovery that revolutionized scientific research. Although there is ongoing research towards cancer cures using HeLa cells, there are still many trials and considerations that need to be addressed. With the countless existing HeLa cell lines, the scientific possibilities for research are endless.

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