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Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol. 2011;3(2):156-66. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Ion channels as targets for cancer therapy.


Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world. Conventional treatments have severe side effects and low survival rate. It is important to discover new targets and therapeutic strategies to improve the clinical outcomes of cancer patients. Ion channels are specialized membrane proteins that play important roles in various physiological processes. Recent studies have shown that abnormal expression and/or activity of a number of ion channels e.g. voltage-gated K(+), Na(+), Ca(2+) channels, TRP channels, and epithelial Na(+)/degenerin family of ion channels, are involved in the growth/proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge about the roles of different ion channels in the development of cancer.


Ca2+ channels; Ion channels; Na+; TRP channels; cancer; epithelial Na+/degenerin family of ion channels; therapeutic targets; voltage-gated K+


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