Jak/STAT Signaling in HNC

  • Bhavana S. Vangara
  • Jennifer R. GrandisEmail author
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


The Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Jak/STAT) pathway relays signals from cytokine receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases to the nucleus, thereby altering the expression of genes regulating normal cell functions, including growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Constitutive Jak/STAT activation has been detected in most epithelial malignancies including head and neck cancer (HNC). STAT3 activation in HNC alters cell cycle progression, inhibits apoptosis, and facilitates proliferation and survival of cancer cells. Inhibition of aberrant STAT3 by a variety of strategies has been shown to abrogate HNC growth in vitro and in vivo suggesting that clinical approaches to block STAT3 activation may be beneficial in this cancer. Understanding the consequences of Jak/STAT pathway mutation is integral to developing and improving targeted therapies for HNC. In this chapter, we will review Jak and STAT inhibitors presently under development in preclinical models as well as treatments further along the pipeline that have entered clinical investigation.


Head and neck cancer Squamous cell carcinoma Jak STAT Targeted therapies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of OtolaryngologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Eye & Ear InstituteUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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