Locally advanced and metastatic basal cell carcinoma: molecular pathways, treatment options and new targeted therapies

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Abstract

The hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway has been identified as important to normal embryonic development in living organisms and it is implicated in processes including cell proliferation, differentiation and tissue patterning. Aberrant Hh pathway has been involved in the pathogenesis and chemotherapy resistance of different solid and hematologic malignancies. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and medulloblastoma are two well-recognized cancers with mutations in components of the Hh pathway. Vismodegib has recently approved as the first inhibitor of one of the components of the Hh pathway (smoothened). This review attempts to provide current data on the molecular pathways involved in the development of BCC and the therapeutic options available for the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic BCC, and the new targeted therapies in development.

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