Research ArticleCancer

An EphB-Abl signaling pathway is associated with intestinal tumor initiation and growth

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Apr 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 281, pp. 281ra44
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3010567

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Imatinib holds adenomas in check

EphB receptors are known to regulate the proliferation and positioning of intestinal stem and progenitor cells. Although they act as tumor promoters for adenoma development, EphB receptors suppress progression to invasive carcinoma. Using a mouse model of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Kundu et al. present evidence that the Abl kinase inhibitor imatinib specifically abrogates the tumor-promoting effect of EphB receptors without affecting EphB’s tumor suppressor functions. As a result, the life span of these mice is prolonged. Imatinib also reduced cell proliferation in cultured slices of adenomas from FAP patients, suggesting that this treatment might be a possibility for patients with FAP who are predisposed to develop colon cancer.

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