Ca 2+ as a therapeutic target in cancer

Adv Cancer Res. 2020;148:233-317. doi: 10.1016/bs.acr.2020.05.003. Epub 2020 Jul 9.


Ca2+ is a ubiquitous and dynamic second messenger molecule that is induced by many factors including receptor activation, environmental factors, and voltage, leading to pleiotropic effects on cell function including changes in migration, metabolism and transcription. As such, it is not surprising that aberrant regulation of Ca2+ signals can lead to pathological phenotypes, including cancer progression. However, given the highly context-specific nature of Ca2+-dependent changes in cell function, delineation of its role in cancer has been a challenge. Herein, we discuss the distinct roles of Ca2+ signaling within and between each type of cancer, including consideration of the potential of therapeutic strategies targeting these signaling pathways.

Keywords: Calcium; Cancer progression; Metastasis; STIM1.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium