Autophagy (also known as macroautophagy) is a lysosomal degradation pathway for the clearance of cellular materials, which manifests as an adaptive response to stress stimuli. Over the past decade, numerous studies have linked autophagy with cancer initiation, progression, and chemoresistance. Autophagy defects in normal cells facilitate tumorigenesis; paradoxically, enhanced autophagy allows prolonged survival in cancer cells upon nutrient shortage, low oxygen, or chemotherapies. However, the mechanism underlying the switch from the cytoprotective role of autophagy to autophagic cell death remains incompletely understood. Here, I review the latest advances in understanding the role of autophagy in lymphomas, current challenges, and future directions.
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