AXL Receptor in Breast Cancer: Molecular Involvement and Therapeutic Limitations

Italia Falcone, Fabiana Conciatori, Chiara Bazzichetto, Emilio Bria, Luisa Carbognin, Paola Malaguti, Gianluigi Ferretti, Francesco Cognetti, Michele Milella, Ludovica Ciuffreda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Breast cancer was one of the first malignancies to benefit from targeted therapy, i.e., treatments directed against specific markers. Inhibitors against HER2 are a significant example and they improved the life expectancy of a large cohort of patients. Research on new biomarkers, therefore, is always current and important. AXL, a member of the TYRO-3, AXL and MER (TAM) subfamily, is, today, considered a predictive and prognostic biomarker in many tumor contexts, primarily breast cancer. Its oncogenic implications make it an ideal target for the development of new pharmacological agents; moreover, its recent role as immune-modulator makes AXL particularly attractive to researchers involved in the study of interactions between cancer and the tumor microenvironment (TME). All these peculiarities characterize AXL as compared to other members of the TAM family. In this review, we will illustrate the biological role played by AXL in breast tumor cells, highlighting its molecular and biological features, its involvement in tumor progression and its implication as a target in ongoing clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 10 2020


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