Purpose of review
To summarize the roles of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)/pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) and their receptors (VPAC1, VPAC2, PAC1) in human tumors as well as their role in potential novel treatments.
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 in the role of transactivation of the epidermal growth factor family. The overexpression of VPAC1/2 and PAC1 on a number of common neoplasms (breast, lung, prostate, central nervous system and 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.
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.