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Front Biosci. 2003 Jan 1;8:e245-60.

The role of transforming growth factor-beta in primary brain tumors.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Dramatic therapeutic benefits of targeting specific signal transduction pathways in some cancers have pushed rational molecular targeting to the forefront of cutting-edge cancer therapy. The identification and targeting of pathways critical to the phenotype of cancers offers new hope in the treatment of many patients. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a multifunctional cytokine that is frequently expressed in multiple types of malignant brain tumors. TGF-beta exerts a complex set of effects in cancers with an early tumor suppressive effect through growth inhibition but later effects in cancer development that are tumorigenic - including increased tumor cell motility and invasion, induction of angiogenesis, and immune suppression. Early preclinical and clinical studies have shown promise of anti-TGF-beta strategies in the treatment of malignant gliomas suggesting TGF-beta may be a potential new therapeutic target in neuro-oncology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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