Targeting Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) in Cancer and Non-Neoplastic Diseases


Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily is a key player in the regulation of a wide variety of physiological processes from development to pathogenesis. Since the discovery of the prototypic member, TGF-β, almost three decades ago, there have been tremendous advances in our understanding of its complex biology. TGF-β misregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases, including cancer with a direct role in facilitating metastasis, fibrosis and inflammation. Consequently, TGF-β is currently explored as a prognostic candidate biomarker of tumor invasiveness and metastasis; and it offers an attractive target for cancer therapy. Several anti-TGF-β approaches, such as TGF-β antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides and small molecules inhibitors of TGF-β type 1 receptor kinase, have shown great promise in the preclinical studies. Here, we consider why the TGF-βsignaling pathway is a drug target, the potential clinical applications of TGF-β inhibition, the issues arising with anti-TGF-β therapy and how these might be adopted using personalized approaches with a special care for patient selection and timing of therapy so that we may bring forward all the potentials of targeting this pathway for therapeutic uses in both cancer, preferentially in combination therapy, and non-neoplastic diseases.

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Nacif, M. and Shaker, O. (2014) Targeting Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) in Cancer and Non-Neoplastic Diseases. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 5, 735-747. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.57082.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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