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Hedhehog as a New Paradigm in Cancer Treatment

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Stem Cells in Cancer: Should We Believe or Not?

Abstract

The Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of cancer stem cell (CSC) and in the acquisition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since these two properties are very relevant in cancer biology: cell invasion, metastasis, drug resistance and, the appearance of cancer relapse, the Hh pathway is considered an important target for future cancer treatments. Over the last few years, several small-molecules inhibitors have been designed and introduced in cancer clinical trials with some of them showing already very promising results. Currently, many of such inhibitors are in clinical development being tested in ongoing clinical trials. In addition, many products of the so called nutraceutical family (curcumin, soy isoflavones, vitamin D, resveratrol and epigallocatechin-3 gallate) have been shown to inhibit tumor growth through downregulation of the Hh signaling pathway. The inhibition of the Hh signalling pathway should led to the suppression of cancer cell growth, invasiveness, metastasis and eventually prevent tumor recurrences. The future design of novel strategies combining inhibitors of the Hh pathway with nutraceuticals and inhibitors of other signaling pathways to regulate activated Hedgehog could bring new tools for cancer treatment.

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Correspondence to Pere Gascon .

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Visa, L., Nadal, C., Gascon, P. (2014). Hedhehog as a New Paradigm in Cancer Treatment. In: Grande, E., Antón Aparicio, L. (eds) Stem Cells in Cancer: Should We Believe or Not?. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8754-3_3

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