D-cyclins represent components of cell cycle machinery. To test the efficacy of targeting D-cyclins in cancer treatment, we engineered mouse strains which allow acute and global ablation of individual D-cyclins in a living animal. Ubiquitous shutdown of cyclin D1 or inhibition of cyclin D associated kinase activity in mice bearing ErbB2-driven mammary carcinomas halted cancer progression and triggered tumor-specific senescence, without compromising the animals' health. Ablation of cyclin D3 in mice bearing T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALL) triggered tumorspecific apoptosis. Such selective killing of leukemic cells can be also achieved by inhibiting cyclin D associated kinase activity in mouse and human T-ALL models. Hence, contrary to what one might expect from ablation of a cell cycle protein, acute shutdown of a D-cyclin leads not only to cell cycle arrest, but it also triggers tumor cell senescence or apoptosis, and it affects different tumor types through distinct cellular mechanisms. Inhibiting cyclin D-activity represents a highly-selective anticancer strategy which specifically targets cancer cells without significantly affecting normal tissues.