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The TGFß pathway as a therapeutic target in cancer


The TGFß pathway has recently emerged as a putative therapeutic target against cancer. However, TGFß has a complex and dual role in cancer. In normal epithelial cells and early tumours, TGFß acts as a tumour suppressor. In contrast, during tumour progression TGFß becomes an oncogenic factor inducing proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, as well as suppressing the anti-tumoral immune response. The role of TGFß in oncogenesis requires the precise understanding of the TGFß pathway in order to design optimal therapeutic approaches and select the patient population that may benefit from an anti-TGFß therapy. Here we review the rationale for evaluating TGFß signalling inhibitors as cancer therapeutics, and the progress made in the preclinical and clinical testing of anti-TGFß compounds.

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Correspondence to Joan Seoane.

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Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer.

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Seoane, J. The TGFß pathway as a therapeutic target in cancer. Clin Transl Oncol 10, 14–19 (2008).

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  • TGF-beta
  • Anti-cancer therapy
  • Targeted drug
  • Signalling inhibitors