The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway plays an integral role in cellular proliferation during normal brain development and also drives growth in a variety of cancers including brain cancer. Clinical trials of Shh pathway inhibitors for brain tumors have yielded disappointing results, indicating a more nuanced role for Shh signaling. We postulate that Shh signaling does not work alone but requires co-activation of other signaling pathways for tumorigenesis and stem cell maintenance. This review will focus on the interplay between the Shh pathway and these pathways to promote tumor growth in brain tumors, presenting opportunities for the study of combinatorial therapies.
- Signal transduction
- Sonic hedgehog