The RAF family members, A-Raf, B-Raf, and C-Raf (or Raf-1), are intermediate molecules in the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase [Ras/Raf/MAP kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) kinase (MEK)/Erk] pathway, which relays extracellular signals from the cell membrane to the nucleus via a cascade of phosphorylation events ultimately promoting cancer development. This pathway is activated by mutation in ∼7% of all human cancers. B-Raf is one of the proteins frequently mutated to an active form during tumor development. Therefore, B-Raf is an attractive cancer target but lack of clinical efficacy using agents targeting this protein has raised serious doubts about its therapeutic utility. Design of more effective B-Raf inhibitory agents, targeting other members of the signaling cascade for greater clinical efficacy or inhibiting B-Raf in combination with other targets, is being evaluated to resolve these perplexing issues. Here, we discuss recent progress, using preclinical models and clinical studies, to resolve the controversy of whether B-Raf would be a good therapeutic target for melanoma and other malignancies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research