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A re-evaluation of the "oncogenic" nature of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in melanoma and other cancers.

  • Author(s): Lucero, Olivia M
  • Dawson, David W
  • Moon, Randall T
  • Chien, Andy J
  • et al.

In cancer, Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is ubiquitously referred to as an "oncogenic" pathway that promotes tumor progression. This review examines how the regulation and downstream effects of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in cancer varies depending on cellular context, with a focus on malignant melanoma. We emphasize that the cellular homeostasis of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling may represent a more appropriate concept than the simplified view of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway as either oncogenic or tumor-suppressing. Ultimately, a more refined understanding of the contextual regulation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling will be essential for addressing if and how therapeutic targeting of this pathway could be leveraged for patient benefit.

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