Notch Signaling in Cancer: Rationale and Strategies for Targeting
The Notch signaling pathway is a highly conserved system that controls embryonic cell fate
decisions and the maintenance of adult stem cells through affecting communication between adjacent
cells. The pathway is linked to the development of various cancers owing to increased cell
proliferation and tumor blood perfusion in addition to inhibition of apoptosis. Pharmaceutical agents
that suppress overactive Notch signaling may be of benefit in the treatment of patients with various
cancers. These targeted therapies confer several advantages over conventional anticancer therapies
including reduced deleterious effects on normal cells. In this review, we explore the rationale for targeting the Notch
signaling pathway in cancer along with different investigational strategies designed to block the pathway.
Keywords: Cancer, monoclonal antibodies, notch inhibitors, notch signaling, γ-secretase inhibitors.
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