Inhibition of the Wnt Signalling Pathway: An Avenue to Control Breast Cancer Aggressiveness.

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Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) is the most common tumour in women. Although the introduction of novel therapeutic approaches in clinical practice has dramatically improved the clinical outcome of BC patients, this malignant disease remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The wingless/integrated (Wnt) signalling pathway represents a crucial molecular node relevantly implicated in the regulation of normal somatic stem cells as well as cancer stem cell (CSC) traits and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition cell program. Accordingly, Wnt signalling is heavily dysregulated in BC, and the altered expression of different Wnt genes is significantly associated with cancer-related aggressive behaviours. For all these reasons, Wnt signalling represents a promising therapeutic target currently under clinical investigation to achieve cancer eradication by eliminating CSCs, considered by most to be responsible for tumour initiation, relapse, and drug resistance. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge on the Wnt signalling pathway in BC and have presented evidence implicating the suitability of Wnt targeting in an attempt to improve the outcome of patients without affecting the normal somatic stem cell population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • cancer stem cells
  • epithelial-mesenchymaltransition
  • resistance to therapy
  • Wnt pathway

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