, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 446-453
Date: 14 Oct 2009

Critical signaling pathways in bone sarcoma: Candidates for therapeutic interventions

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Bone sarcomas cause disproportionate morbidity and mortality and desperately need new therapies as there has been little improvement in outcomes in 20 years. Identification of critical signaling pathways, including type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) for Ewing sarcoma and possibly osteosarcoma, and the ERBB and the Wnt signaling pathways for osteosarcoma, have emerged as receptors mediating vital signals for bone sarcoma. Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), phosphoinositide 3-kinases, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinases, and Ras pathway play key roles in at least some tumors, and inhibition of mTOR in particular will likely lead to improved survival, although clinical trials are still underway. The Notch pathway and ezrin are essential for osteosarcoma metastasis, and Fas down-regulation is necessary for survival of metastases in lungs. As little is known about chondrosarcoma signaling, more preclinical work is needed. By defining vital signaling pathways in bone sarcomas, small molecule inhibitors can be applied rationally, leading to longer survival and reducing morbidity and late effects from intensive chemotherapy.