Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive grade of glioma with no known cure.
Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have observed a correlation between GBM's poor prognosis and high levels of TGFβ. Hence, the TGFβ signaling pathway (Figure 5) is an attractive target for drug development. LY2157299 (made by Eli Lily) is one such TGFβ inhibitor that is currently undergoing clinical trials. Specifically, LY2157299 blocks the TGFβ receptor I (RI), hence blocking the entire TGFβ signaling cascade.
Among many factors that contribute to challenges in cancer treatment is complex, context-dependent signaling. Take TGFβ as an example, it is anti-proliferative and immune suppressive under healthy conditions. However, in cancerous conditions, especially late-stage cancer, TGFβ has been found to promote cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and metastasis.