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Role of the hedgehog pathway in cancer pathogenesis


Adam Todd

Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Therapeutics, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sunderland, UK

Andrew Husband

Pharmacy Programme Director and Principle Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Therapeutics, University of Sunderland, UK

Alan Worsley

Pharmacy Programme Director and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and 

accounts for around 7.6 million deaths per annum; this equates to approximately 13% of all deaths in total. As cancer is predominantly a disease linked to old age, and given the aging population, the World Health Organisation has estimated that 11 million people will die from cancer in 2030.1 Indeed, cancer is not a single disease but a generic term for a collection of diseases characterised by the failure of cellular growth control mechanisms. Therefore, the treatment of cancer is complex and managed by a number of specialists through a multi-disciplinary team including medical oncologists, clinical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, nurses and pharmacists. Owing to this complexity and the increasing incidence, the management of cancer is very costly and places a substantial burden on healthcare services around the world. 

In recent years significant progress has been made in developing effective anticancer medicines. The

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