Purpose of review—To summarize the roles of VIP/PACAP and their receptors(VPAC1, VPAC2/PAC1) in human tumors as well as their role in potential novel treatments.
Recent findings—Considerable progress has been made in understanding of the effects of VIP/ PACAP on growth of various tumors as well as in the signaling cascades involved, especially of the role of transactivation of the Epidermal growth factor(EGF) family. The overexpression of VPAC1/2, PAC1 on a number of common neoplasms (breast, lung, prostate, CNS, neuroblastoma) is receiving increased attention both as a means of tumor imaging the location and extent of these tumors, as well as for targeted directed treatment, by coupling cytotoxic agents to VIP/PACAP analogues.
Summary—VIP/PACAP has prominent growth effects on a number of common neoplasms, which frequently overexpressed the three subtypes of their receptors. The increased understanding of their signaling cascades, effect on tumor growth/differentiation, and the use of the overexpression of these receptors for localization/targeted cytotoxic delivery, are all suggesting possible novel tumor treatments.