The current standard regimens for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are curative in less than half of patients; therefore, there is a great need for innovative new approaches to this problem. One approach is to target new treatments to the pathways that are instrumental to cell growth and survival with drugs that are less harmful to normal cells than to neoplastic cells. In this review, we focus on the MAPK family of signaling pathways and those that are known to, or potentially can, interact with MAPKs, such as PI3K/AKT/FOXO and JAK/STAT. We exemplify the recent studies in this field with specific relevance to vitamin D and its derivatives, since they have featured prominently in recent scientific literature as having anti-cancer properties. Since microRNAs also are known to be regulated by activated vitamin D, this is also briefly discussed here, as are the implications of the emerging acquisition of transcriptosome data and potentiation of the biological effects of vitamin D by other compounds. While there are ongoing clinical trials of various compounds that affect signaling pathways, more studies are needed to establish the clinical utility of vitamin D in the treatment of cancer.
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