Targeting Sonic Hedgehog: a new way to mow down pancreatic cancer?

Cancer Biol Ther. 2004 Feb;3(2):165-6. doi: 10.4161/cbt.3.2.780. Epub 2004 Feb 1.


Despite continuing development of new therapies, the prognosis for patients with pancreatic cancer remains extremely poor. In part, this may relate to molecular abnormalities that stimulate pancreatic tumorigenesis and also contribute to reduced sensitivity to standard treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Two recent reports in Nature suggest that Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) overexpression may contribute to pancreatic tumorigenesis and that cyclopamine, a specific inhibitor of Shh signaling, can reduce pancreatic cancer cell growth and viability. This discovery is exciting and suggests that targeting Shh signaling may be an effective novel approach to therapy in patients with this devastating disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*


  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • SHH protein, human
  • Trans-Activators