In English | En español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

Page Options

  • Print This Page

Widget



signaling pathway  listen  (SIG-nuh-ling …)

  Describes a group of molecules in a cell that work together to control one or more cell functions, such as cell division or cell death. After the first molecule in a pathway receives a signal, it activates another molecule. This process is repeated until the last molecule is activated and the cell function is carried out. Abnormal activation of signaling pathways can lead to cancer, and drugs are being developed to block these pathways. These drugs may help block cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells.