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Cancer Biol Ther. 2011 Aug 15;12(4):260-9. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Src family kinases and paclitaxel sensitivity.

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Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.


Src-family Kinases (SFKs) participate in the regulation of proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy, adhesion, migration, invasion and angiogenesis in normal and cancer cells. Abnormal expression of SFKs has been documented in cancers that arise in breast, colon, ovary, melanocyte, gastric mucosa, head and neck, pancreas, lung, and brain. Targeting SFKs in cancer cells has been shown to be a promising therapeutic strategy in solid tumors, particularly in ovarian, colon and breast cancers. Paclitaxel is one of most widely used chemotherapeutic agents for the management of ovarian, breast, lung and head/neck cancers. As a microtubule-stabilizing agent, paclitaxel possesses both mitosis-dependent and mitosis-independent activities against cancer cells. A variety of mechanisms such as deregulation of P-glycoprotein, alteration of tubulin isotypes, alteration of microtubule-regulatory proteins, deregulation of apoptotic signaling pathways, mutation of tubulins and overexpression of copper transporters have been implicated in the development of primary or secondary resistance to paclitaxel. By affecting cancer cell survival, proliferation, autophagy, microtubule stability, motility, and/or angiogenesis, SFKs interact with mechanisms that regulate paclitaxel sensitivity. Inhibition of SFKs can potentiate the anti-tumor activity of paclitaxel by enhancing apoptosis, autophagy and microtubule stability. Based on pre-clinical observations, administration of SFK inhibitors in combination with paclitaxel could improve treatment for ovarian, breast, lung and head/neck cancers. Identification and validation of predictive biomarkers could also permit personalization of the therapy.

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