WNT signalling pathways as therapeutic targets in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Jan;13(1):11-26. doi: 10.1038/nrc3419.


Since the initial discovery of the oncogenic activity of WNT1 in mouse mammary glands, our appreciation for the complex roles for WNT signalling pathways in cancer has increased dramatically. WNTs and their downstream effectors regulate various processes that are important for cancer progression, including tumour initiation, tumour growth, cell senescence, cell death, differentiation and metastasis. Although WNT signalling pathways have been difficult to target, improved drug-discovery platforms and new technologies have facilitated the discovery of agents that can alter WNT signalling in preclinical models, thus setting the stage for clinical trials in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Wnt Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Wnt Proteins