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Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(17):2464-71.

Role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in drug resistance of pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Shanghai First People’s Hospital, Schoolof Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, The People’s Republic of China.


Pancreatic cancer is characterized by its intrinsic resistance to cytotoxic agents. But the underlying molecular mechanism is unclear. Studies demonstrate that angiogenesis, presence of highly resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs), dysregulation of cell cycle and apoptosis are main aspects of mechanisms of pancreatic cancer chemoresistance. Interestingly, recent investigations of Wnt/β-catenin signaling suggest roles for the signaling in these four aspects and the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer. Conceivably, the dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is involved in pancreatic cancer chemoresistance. Though researchers have proven it in some other cancer types, however, there is no direct evidence for this reasoning in pancreatic cancer. Designing effective experiment setups to define the function and mechanism of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in pancreatic cancer chemoresistance and subsequently targeting the signaling to improve the sensitivity of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer require a full understanding of the molecular mechanisms of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in angiogenesis, maintaining of highly resistant CSCs, regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis in pancreatic cancer.

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