Galectins are a family of 15 proteins. They interact with glycoproteins in both the extracellular and intracellular milieu and regulate various biological cycles including cell growth, cell differentiation, cell adhesion and apoptosis. In biomolecular studies certain patterns of expression showed a correlation with metastasis and apoptosis. Therefore, galectins could be used as potential markers for early tumour recognition, long-term prognosis and a better-founded choice of therapy. Acknowledging these possibilities this review points out the standing of galectins with all currently available data in the development and progression of renal, bladder and prostatic tumours. The expression patterns of galectin-1 and -3 have been researched extensively. For example, several studies could show a decreased expression of galectin-3 in clear renal cell carcinoma, which correlated with a poor clinical prognosis. On the contrary, patients with a bladder tumour showed an elevated serum level of galectin-3. Furthermore, in analysis of prostatic tumour tissue galectin-1 was found to be an independent predictor of a PSA relapse. In addition, pathological patterns of galectin expression could be detected in non-urological malignancies such as breast cancer. Though all findings indicate a future significance of galectins as markers of urological malignancies with clinical relevance, more research will be necessary to particularly assess the evolutional-dependent function of galectins in the process of tumourigenesis.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Galectin expression in urological cancer: Diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential
|Urologe - Ausgabe A
|Number of pages
|Published - 03.2010
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)