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Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 May;11(5):338-51. doi: 10.1038/nrc3035. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Notch signalling in solid tumours: a little bit of everything but not all the time.

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Department of Surgery and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FL 33136, USA.


The discovery of Notch in Drosophila melanogaster nearly a century ago opened the door to an ever-widening understanding of cellular processes that are controlled or influenced by Notch signalling. As would be expected with such a pleiotropic pathway, the deregulation of Notch signalling leads to several pathological conditions, including cancer. A role for Notch is well established in haematological malignancies, and more recent studies have provided evidence for the importance of Notch activity in solid tumours. As it is thought to act as an oncogene in some cancers but as a tumour suppressor in others, the role of Notch in solid tumours seems to be highly context dependent.

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