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Hedgehog signaling in cancer stem cells: a focus on hematological cancers

Authors Campbell V, Copland M

Received 3 October 2014

Accepted for publication 18 November 2014

Published 16 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 27—38


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bernard Binetruy

Victoria Campbell, Mhairi Copland

Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical, Veterninary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Abstract: The stem cell paradigm was first demonstrated in hematopoietic stem cells. Whilst classically it was cytokines and chemokines which were believed to control stem cell fate, more recently it has become apparent that the stem cell niche and highly conserved embryonic pathways play a key role in governing stem cell behavior. One of these pathways, the hedgehog signaling pathway, found in all organisms, is vitally important in embryogenesis, performing the function of patterning through early stages of development, and in adulthood, through the control of somatic stem cell numbers. In addition to these roles in health however, it has been found to be deregulated in a number of solid and hematological malignancies, components of the hedgehog pathway being associated with a poor prognosis. Further, these components represent viable therapeutic targets, with inhibition from a drug development perspective being readily achieved, making the hedgehog pathway an attractive potential therapeutic target. However, although the concept of cancer stem cells is well established, how these cells arise and the factors which influence their behavior are not yet fully understood. The role of the hedgehog signaling pathway and its potential as a therapeutic target in hematological malignancies is the focus of this review.

Keywords: hedgehog signaling pathway, stem cell, cancer stem cell, hematopoiesis, myeloid, lymphoid

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