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Notch signaling in oral pre-cancer and oral cancer

Abstract

Notch signaling involves cell to cell contact. It is an ancient signaling mechanism that is conserved throughout the animal kingdom. The basic function of Notch signaling is to decide cell fate and execute asymmetrical division. Notch signaling is indispensable for embryo growth. Aberrant Notch signaling involves in cancer progression by altering cell proliferation rate, tumor micro-environment, stem cell activities. The role of Notch signaling in cancer progression is context-dependent. In breast cancer and T cell lymphoma Notch signaling is highly active, whereas in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as oral and skin cancer, the signaling is suppressed. It is believed that in SCC, Notch-mediated tumor growth is due to the cell non-autonomous function. Oral cancer is the 6th most risky cancer worldwide. In many patients, oral cancer is preceded by pre-cancer conditions. In this review, we have summarized the research knowledge related to the role of Notch signaling in oral cancer and pre-cancer conditions and the therapeutic options available targeting different components of Notch pathways.

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Funding

This work is supported by Indian council of Medical Research (Grant No. 3/2/2/54/2018/Online Onco Fship, NCD-III).

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Nigam, K., Srivastav, R.K. Notch signaling in oral pre-cancer and oral cancer. Med Oncol 38, 139 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12032-021-01593-9

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Keywords

  • Notch
  • ADAM
  • NUMB
  • Oral cancer
  • Leukoplakia
  • Sub-mucous fibrosis