Wnt Signaling as a Therapeutic Target for Cancer

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The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is tightly regulated and has important functions in development, tissue homeostasis, and regeneration. Deregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is frequently found in various human cancers. Eighty percent of colorectal cancers alone reveal activation of this pathway by either inactivation of the tumor-suppressor gene adenomatous polyposis coli or mutation of the proto-oncogene β-catenin. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been found to be important for both initiation and progression of cancers of different tissues. Therefore, targeted inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a rational and promising new approach for the therapy of cancers of various origins.