Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 5, 1026-1033 (December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nrd2086

Targeting the Hedgehog pathway in cancer

Lee L. Rubin1 & Frederic J. de Sauvage2  About the authors


Several key signalling pathways, such as Hedgehog, Notch, Wnt and BMP–TGFbeta–Activin (bone morphogenetic protein–transforming growth factor-beta–Activin), are involved in most processes essential to the proper development of an embryo. It is also becoming increasingly clear that these pathways can have a crucial role in tumorigenesis when reactivated in adult tissues through sporadic mutations or other mechanisms. We will focus here on the Hedgehog pathway, which is abnormally activated in most basal cell carcinomas, and discuss potential therapeutic opportunities offered by the progress made in understanding this signalling pathway.

Author affiliations

  1. Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Biolabs, Room 150, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
  2. Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Correspondence to: Lee L. Rubin1 Email:


These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.


Gli and hedgehog in cancer: tumours, embryos and stem cells

Nature Reviews Cancer Review (01 May 2002)

Patching the gaps in Hedgehog signalling

Nature Cell Biology Perspective (01 Sep 2007)

See all 16 matches for Reviews


Two sides to cilia in cancer

Nature Medicine News and Views (01 Sep 2009)

Agonizing Hedgehog

Nature Chemical Biology News and Views (01 Jan 2006)