STAT3 as a therapeutic target in head and neck cancer

Rebecca J. Leeman, Vivian Wai Yan Lui, Jennifer Rubin Grandis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins relay signals from cytokine receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases on the cell surface to the nucleus, where they affect the transcription of genes involved in normal cell functions, including growth, apoptosis and differentiation. STAT3 has been found to be constitutively active in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) as well as in other epithelial malignancies. In HNSCC, STAT3 alters the cell cycle, prevents apoptosis, and mediates the proliferation and survival of tumour cells. Several therapeutic approaches are being developed to target STAT3, including molecules that block either dimerisation or DNA binding by STAT3, strategies to decrease STAT3 expression and drugs that inhibit STAT3 function. Strategies that block STAT3 may prove efficacious for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck cancer
  • STAT3 inhibitors
  • STAT3 targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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