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Current Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1389-4501
ISSN (Online): 1873-5592

Hedgehog Signaling in the Normal and Neoplastic Mammary Gland

Author(s): Adriana P. Visbal and Michael T. Lewis

Volume 11 , Issue 9 , 2010

Page: [1103 - 1111] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/138945010792006753

Price: $65


The hedgehog signal transduction network is a critical regulator of metazoan development. Inappropriate activation of this network is implicated in several different cancers, including breast. Genetic evidence in mice as well as molecular biological studies in human cells clearly indicate that activated signaling can lead to mammary hyperplasia and, in some cases, tumor formation. However, the exact role(s) activated hedgehog signaling plays in the development or progression of breast cancer also remain unclear. In this review, we have discussed recent data regarding the mechanism(s) by which the hedgehog network may signal in the mammary gland, as well as the data implicating activated signaling as a contributing factor to breast cancer development. Finally, we provide a brief update on the available hedgehog signaling inhibitors with respect to ongoing clinical trials, some of which will include locally advanced or metastatic breast cancers. Given the growing intensity with which the hedgehog signaling network is being studied in the normal and neoplastic mammary gland, a more complete understanding of this network should allow more effective targeting of its activities in breast cancer treatment or prevention.

Keywords: Breast cancer, epithelial-stromal interactions, stem/progenitor cell regulation, hedgehog signaling inhibitors

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