, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 43-47
Date: 31 Jan 2008

Molecular pathways leading to cancer as a basis for preventive strategies

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Significant advances have been made recently in our understanding of how several cell signaling pathways contribute to the early stages of colorectal carcinogenesis, particularly in the context of colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CRC). For example, we now know that nuclear factor κB, a transcription factor, plays a critical role in a mouse model of colitis-associated CRC and that the oncogene c-MYC is essential for the phenotypic consequences of adenomatous polyposis coli tumor suppressor gene loss in mouse intestine. A major challenge now is to determine the relevance of findings in colitis-associated CRC models to the more common “sporadic” form of colorectal carcinogenesis. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is cross-talk between important cell signaling pathways (eg, Wnt) and prostaglandin signaling. These preclinical findings should inform the design of translational studies prior to clinical testing, to determine the most efficient combination of chemopreventive agents.