Cell signaling pathways involve several proteins, called kinases, to pass on vital messages from the transmembrane-proteins, e.g., receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) to the nucleus of a cell through a cascade of processes for various activities such as controlled cell division, proliferation, apoptosis, metabolism, DNA replication and repair. Alterations in these signaling proteins combined with genetic and/or epigenetic mutations spawn various types of cancer that empowers the cells to ignore or maneuver the immune signals and carry on felonious activities such as uncontrolled cell division and growth, genetic instability, angiogenesis around the tumor in hypoxia, eluding the body’s immune system, cell migration, and invasion of surrounding healthy cells. Inhibition of such malicious transmuted signaling pathways has therapeutic importance for cancer. In this article, we have briefly described three vital signaling pathways that are aberrantly triggered by Ras and Wnt proteins and the NF-2 genes causing different types of cancer. Recent research in the targeted therapy using drugs to put off these signaling pathways, especially, for cancer stem cells (CSCs) has been reviewed here. However, such therapy suffers a low success rate due to the resistance to drugs by cancer cells. Considering this snag of targeting drugs, many researchers use nanoparticles for this purpose; some of these works have been reviewed in brief. The consequences of protein-nanoparticles interaction in this approach has also been discussed. Finally, we have proposed use of nanomaterials for targeted ion delivery, or targeted heating using light or magnetic field, to destroy cancer cells.
Cancer, Signaling pathways, Targeted therapy, Cancer stem cells, Nanomaterials, Protein-nanoparticle interaction, Cell death