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Garnier, Agnès; Ilmer, Matthias; Kappler, Roland; Berger, Michael (2016): Therapeutic Innovations for Targeting Hepatoblastoma. In: Anticancer Research, Vol. 36, No. 11: pp. 5577-5592
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Hepatoblastoma is the most common pediatric liver tumor. Despite recent advances in treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, the prognosis in advanced stages remains poor. The neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) has recently been described to be pivotal in the development of cancer. Furthermore, overwhelming evidence now exists showing that pharmacological manipulation of NK1R can cause a robust anticancer effect. Consequently, NK1R antagonists, such as the clinical drug aprepitant, are under current investigation as future innovative anticancer agents. In that sense, new evidence suggests that NK1R is highly expressed in human hepatoblastoma and can be targeted to create a robust inhibiton of tumor growth in vivo and in vitro. The mechanisms behind this effect are only now being investigated but already reveal an arsenal of therapeutic possibilities. Our article describes the most recent developments in the field of therapeutic NK1R inhibition in cancer and focuses particularly on the newly discovered molecular mechanisms involved when targeting NK1R in hepatoblastoma.