Hedgehog signaling: Modulation of cancer properies and tumor mircroenvironment

Academic Article


  • Cancer poses a serious health problem in society and is increasingly surpassing cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Current therapeutic strategies for cancer are extreme and harsh to patients and often have limited success; the danger of cancer is intensified as it metastasizes to secondary locations such as lung, bone, and liver, posing a dire threat to patient treatment and survival. Hedgehog signaling is an important pathway for normal development. Initially identified in Drosophila, the vertebrate and mammalian equivalent of the pathway has been studied extensively for its role in cancer development and progression. As this pathway regulates key target genes involved in development, its action also allows for the modulation of the microenvironment to prepare a tumor-suitable niche by manipulating tumor cell growth, differentiation, and immune regulation, thus creating an enabling environment for progression and metastasis. In this review, we will summarize recent scientific discoveries reporting the impact of the Hedgehog signaling pathway on the tumor initiation process and metastatic cascade, shedding light on the ability of the tumor to take over a mechanism crucially intended for development and normal function.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Molecular Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hanna A; Shevde LA
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1