Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an uncommon cancer, which has a distinctive ethnic and geographic distribution. Etiology of NPC is considered to be related with a complex interaction of environmental and genetic factors as well as Epstein-Barr virus infection. Since NPC is located in the silent painless area, the disease is usually therefore diagnosed at the advanced stages; hence early detection of NPC is difficult. Furthermore, understanding in molecular pathogenesis is still lacking, pondering the identification of effective prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. Dysregulation of signaling molecules in intracellular signal transduction, which regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and adhesion, underlines the basis of NPC pathogenesis. In this paper, the molecular signaling pathways in the NPC are discussed for the holistic view of NPC development and progression. The important insights toward NPC pathogenesis may offer strategies for identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis.
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