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Future Oncol. 2005 Dec;1(6):821-8.

The alphaVbeta6 integrin as a novel molecular target for colorectal cancer.

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University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Cancer Biology, Worcester, MA 01605-2324 USA.


Recent advances in the treatment of colorectal cancer have resulted from a shift towards the use of molecular targeting strategies, with the identification of specific antigens critical for the development and progression of these tumors allowing the rational design of new therapeutic agents. The integrin receptor family provides very attractive targets for this 'magic bullet' approach, as they play key roles at all points during the malignant evolution of tumors, influencing growth, progression, angiogenesis and metastasis. One integrin in particular, alphaVbeta6, was recently shown to be upregulated in a model of colorectal tumor progression. Importantly, the consequences of this elevated receptor expression not only impact tumor cell function, but also indicate that alphaVbeta6 is a prognostic variable for colorectal cancer and one that is predictive of patient outcome in early-stage disease. Taken together with its normal expression pattern and known biologic functions, alphaVbeta6 thus emerges as a novel therapeutic candidate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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