The TGFβ signaling pathway has pleiotropic functions regulating cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, motility and invasion, extracellular matrix production, angiogenesis, and immune response. TGFβ signaling deregulation is frequent in tumors and has crucial roles in tumor initiation, development and metastasis. TGFβ signaling inhibition is an emerging strategy for cancer therapy. The role of the TGFβ pathway as a tumor-promoter or suppressor at the cancer cell level is still a matter of debate, due to its differential effects at the early and late stages of carcinogenesis. In contrast, at themicroenvironment level, the TGFβ pathway contributes to generate a favorable microenvironment for tumor growth and metastasis throughout all the steps of carcinogenesis. Then, targeting the TGFβ pathway in cancer may be considered primarily as a microenvironment-targeted strategy.
Neuzillet C, et al. Targeting the TGFβ pathway for cancer therapy[J]. Pharmacology & therapeutics, 2015, 147: 22-31.