STAT3 signaling: anticancer strategies and challenges

Mol Interv. 2011 Feb;11(1):18-26. doi: 10.1124/mi.11.1.4.


Multiple lines of evidence place STAT3 at a central node in the development, progression, and maintenance of many human tumors, and STAT3 has been validated as an anti-cancer target in several contexts. STAT3 modulates the transcription of a variety of genes involved in the regulation of critical functions, including cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, and immune responses. For many cancers, elevated levels of activated STAT3 have been associated with a poor prognosis. We review approaches that have been pursued to target STAT3, and we highlight some of the promises and challenges associated with developing an anticancer drug that might therapeutically inhibit the STAT3 signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / chemistry
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor