Several mechanisms underlying tumor progression have remained elusive, particularly in relation to transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). Although TGF-β initially inhibits epithelial growth, it appears to promote the progression of advanced tumors. Defects in normal TGF-β pathways partially explain this paradox, which can lead to a cascade of downstream events that drive multiple oncogenic pathways, manifesting as several key features of tumorigenesis (uncontrolled proliferation, loss of apoptosis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, sustained angiogenesis, evasion of immune surveillance, and metastasis). Understanding the mechanisms of TGF-β dysregulation will likely reveal novel points of convergence between TGF-β and other pathways that can be specifically targeted for therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research