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The AXL receptor tyrosine kinase (AXL) has emerged as a promising therapeutic target for cancer therapy. Recent studies have revealed a central role of AXL signaling in tumor proliferation, survival, stem cell phenotype, metastasis, and resistance to cancer therapy. Moreover, AXL is expressed within cellular components of the tumor microenvironment where AXL signaling contributes to the immunosuppressive and protumorigenic phenotypes. A variety of AXL inhibitors have been developed and are efficacious in preclinical studies. These agents offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention in the prevention and treatment of advanced disease. Here we review the literature that has illuminated the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which AXL signaling promotes tumor progression and we will discuss the therapeutic potential of AXL inhibition for cancer therapy.

Original publication

DOI

10.3390/cancers8110103

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cancers (Basel)

Publication Date

09/11/2016

Volume

8

Keywords

AXL, GAS6, cancer stem cell phenotype, decoy receptor, immune suppression, metastasis, proliferation, resistance, small molecule, therapy