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Int J Oncol. 1999 Jul;15(1):143-8.

Involvement of galectin-3 expression in colorectal cancer progression and metastasis.

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The First Department of Surgery, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osakasayama, Osaka 589-8511, Japan.


Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-specific lectin that binds to laminin sugar-sites and is involved in tumor malignancy. Galectin-3 expression in relation to primary tumor and liver metastasis of colorectal cancer was examined to determined its involvement in cancer progression and metastasis. Immunohistochemical staining of galectin-3 was performed on 117 primary lesions and 15 liver metastases of colorectal cancer using TIB166 monoclonal antibody. The expression of galectin-3 was evaluated by grading the intensity of the staining as either negative, weakly positive, or strongly positive. Normal mucosa of all patients were strongly positive for galectin-3, but the staining in these tissues was still significantly less than in the primary lesions of the cancer (31.6%). Galectin-3 expression in the primary lesions was significantly increased, correlating with the progression of clinical stage (p=0. 0224), liver metastasis (p<0.0001), venous invasion (p=0.0048), and lymph node metastasis (p=0.0289). Liver metastatic lesions also showed up-regulated levels of galectin-3 compared to the primary lesions (p=0.0030). The group showing strongly positive galectin-3 had a significantly poorer prognosis than the negative/weakly positive group in terms of disease-free survival (p=0.0224). The strong expression of galectin-3 in colorectal cancer correlates with cancer progression, liver metastasis, and poor prognosis for patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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