TRAIL is a cytokine of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family. TRAIL binds to several TNF family receptors, activating MAPK8/JNK, caspase 8, and caspase 3. Its interaction with death receptors on tumor cells triggers apoptosis. Binding to decoy receptors may neutralise TRAIL activity. Because TRAIL exhibits much stronger apoptotic activity than other TNF family members, kills tumor cells more effectively than normal cells, and presents less risk of inducing an inflammatory repsonse following systemic administration, use of TRAIL as an anti-cancer therapeutic has been widely examined. Huang et al.
] describe the development and potent anti-tumor activity of a TRAIL fusion protein nanoparticle formulation in a xenograft model [1
]. To date, no pharmaceutical agents targeting TRAIL or its receptors in cancer have been approved.