Inhibition of SHH pathway mechanisms by arsenic trioxide in pediatric medulloblastomas: a comprehensive literature review.
Recent innovations in the genomic understanding of medulloblastomas have provided new ways to explore this highly invasive malignant brain cancer arising from the cerebellum. Among the four different medulloblastoma subgroups described to date, the sonic hedgehog (SHH) genetic pathway is the pathway activated in the tumorigenesis of medulloblastoma. SHH-related medulloblastomas are usually of nodular/desmoplastic histology and frequently occur in children under the age of three, an age group highly susceptible to the acute and long-term effects of treatment. Several new drugs aimed at SHH modulation are currently under development. This review focuses on the role of arsenic trioxide, a drug well established in clinical practice and probably an under-explored agent in medulloblastoma management, in the SHH pathway.