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 EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-12

Hedgehog signaling pathway: A novel target for cancer therapy: Vismodegib, a promising therapeutic option in treatment of basal cell carcinomas


Department of Pharmacology, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Afroz Abidi
Department of Pharmacology, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: This study was not supported financially or otherwise, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.124884

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The Hedgehog signaling pathway is one of the major regulators of cell growth and differentiation during embryogenesis and early development. It is mostly quiescent in adults but inappropriate mutation or deregulation of the pathway is involved in the development of cancers. Therefore; recently it has been recognized as a novel therapeutic target in cancers. Basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and medulloblastomas are the two most common cancers identified with mutations in components of the hedgehog pathway. The discovery of targeted Hedgehog pathway inhibitors has shown promising results in clinical trials, several of which are still undergoing clinical evaluation. Vismodegib (GDC-0449), an oral hedgehog signaling pathway inhibitor has reached the farthest in clinical development. Initial clinical trials in basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma have shown good efficacy and safety and hence were approved by U.S. FDA for use in advanced basal cell carcinomas. This review highlights the molecular basis and the current knowledge of hedgehog pathway activation in different types of human cancers as well as the present and future prospects of the novel drug vismodegib.






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