Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecules (SLAM) family receptors are initially described in immune cells. These receptors recruit both activating and inhibitory SH2 domain containing proteins through their Immunoreceptor Tyrosine based Switch Motifs (ITSMs). Accumulating evidence suggest that the members of this family are intimately involved in different physiological and pathophysiological events such as regulation of immune responses and entry pathways of certain viruses. Recently, other functions of SLAM, principally in the pathophysiology of neoplastic transformations have also been deciphered. These new findings may prompt SLAM to be considered as new tumor markers, diagnostic tools or potential therapeutic targets for controlling the tumor progression. In this review, we summarize the major observations describing the implications and features of SLAM in oncology and discuss the therapeutic potential attributed to these molecules.
Keywords: SLAMF molecules; cancer; pathophysiology; therapy.