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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013 Jul;17(7):743-60. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2013.782287. Epub 2013 May 7.

Targeting TGF-β signaling in cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway has a pivotal role in tumor suppression and yet, paradoxically, in tumor promotion. Functional context dependent insights into the TGF-β pathway are crucial in developing TGF-β-based therapeutics for cancer.

AREAS COVERED:

This review discusses the molecular mechanism of the TGF-β pathway and describes the different ways of tumor suppression by TGF-β. It is then explained how tumors can evade these effects and how TGF-β contributes to further growing and spreading of some of the tumors. In the last part of the review, the data on targeting TGF-β pathway for cancer treatment is assessed. This review focuses on anti-TGF-β based treatment and other options targeting activated pathways in tumors where the TGF-β tumor suppressor pathway is lost. Pre-clinical as well up to date results of the most recent clinical trials are given.

EXPERT OPINION:

Targeting the TGF-β pathway can be a promising direction in cancer treatment. However, several challenges still exist, the most important are differentiating between the carcinogenic effects of TGF-β and its other physiological roles, and delineating the tumor suppressive versus the tumor promoting roles of TGF-β in each specific tumor. Future studies are needed in order to find safer and more effective TGF-β-based drugs.

PMID:
23651053
PMCID:
PMC3745214
DOI:
10.1517/14728222.2013.782287
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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