Over the past decade, antiproliferative effects of somatostatin and analogs have been reported in many somatostatin receptor-positive normal and tumor cell types. Regarding the molecular mechanisms involved, somatostatin or analogs mediate their action through both indirect and direct effects. Somatostatin acts through five somatostatin receptors (SSTR1–5) which are variably expressed in normal and tumor cells. These receptors regulate a variety of signal transduction pathways including inhibition of adenylate cyclase, regulation of ion channels, regulation of serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases and phosphatases. This review focuses on recent advances in biological mechanisms involved in the antineoplastic activity of somatostatin and analogs.
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