YES1 is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that belongs to the SRC family of kinases (SFKs) and controls multiple cancer signaling pathways. YES1 is amplified and overexpressed in many tumor types, where it promotes cell proliferation, survival and invasiveness. Therefore, YES1 has been proposed as an emerging target in solid tumors. In addition, studies have shown that YES1 is a prognostic biomarker and a predictor of dasatinib activity. Several SFKs-targeting drugs have been developed and some of them have reached clinical trials. However, these drugs have encountered challenges to their utilization in the clinical practice in unselected patients due to toxicity and lack of efficacy. In the case of YES1, novel specific inhibitors have been developed and tested in preclinical models, with impressive antitumor effects. In this review, we summarize the structure and activation of YES1 and describe its role in cancer as a target and prognostic and companion biomarker. We also address the efficacy of SFKs inhibitors that are currently in clinical trials, highlighting the main hindrances for their clinical use. Current available information strongly suggests that inhibiting YES1 in tumors with high expression of this protein is a promising strategy against cancer.

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