p90 ribosomal S6 kinase: a potential therapeutic target in lung cancer
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A global survey of cancer has shown that lung cancer is the most common cause of the new cancer cases and cancer deaths in men worldwide. The mortality from lung cancer is more than the combined mortality from breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. The two major histological types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounting for about 85 % of cases and small cell lung cancer accounting for 15 % of cases. NSCLC, the more prevalent form of lung cancer, is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and has a very poor prognosis. Many factors have been shown to contribute to the development of lung cancer in humans including tobacco smoking, exposure to environmental carcinogens (asbestos, or radon) and genetic factors. Despite the advances in treatment, lung cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Interestingly, the overall 5 year survival from lung cancer has not changed appreciably in the past 25 years. For this reason, novel and more effective treatments and strategies for NSCLC are critically needed. p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK), a serine threonine kinase that lies downstream of the Ras–MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase) cascade, has been demonstrated to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation in various malignancies through indirect (e.g., modulation of transcription factors) or direct effects on the cell-cycle machinery. Increased expression of RSK has been demonstrated in various cancers, including lung cancer. This review focuses on the role of RSK in lung cancer and its potential therapeutic application.
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