Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) plays a critical role in the development of numerous structures. Overexpression of Shh has also been implicated in a number of common human tumors, including lung and pancreatic cancer. Tumor cell lines appear to be dependent upon Shh for their survival with Shh acting as a mitogen for these cell lines, as recombinant Shh is sufficient to induce cell division.
Dartmouth researchers in collaboration with the colleagues from Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati have now found that the Shh signaling pathway is involved in tumor cell growth and inhibition of Shh activity itself. Using agents such as cadmium, is an effective means of reducing the growth of tumors dependent upon Shh. Thus, direct inhibition of Shh serves as a target for the prevention and treatment of cancers which are dependent upon Shh activity.
This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 11/718,752. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J280)
Last Updated: 7/24/12