There is increasing evidence that antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are differentially regulated in cancers such as oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). Data showing that AMPs influence the growth of tumor cells, exhibit direct cytotoxic activity towards cancer cells, function as a tumor suppressor gene or activate the adaptive immunity suggest that a dysregulation of AMPs may be associated with the development of cancer. There is no question that, with increasing resistance against conventional chemotherapy, novel anticancer agents are needed. It is interesting to speculate that natural AMP or synthetic derivatives can be used to develop novel strategies to fight cancer diseases and may represent a novel family of anticancer agents. However, future research is needed to employ the role of AMPs in cancer and to investigate their role as potential anticancer drugs.
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptide, defensin, cathelicidin, histatin, adrenomedullin, oral cancer, immunotherapy, anticancer effect
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