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Mucins in gastrointestinal cancers.

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Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Cancer Center, PA 15261, USA.


The mucin family has been under study by molecular biologists, biochemists, pathologists and immunologists interested in cancer because of the role these molecules can play in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Immense knowledge has been accumulated, but the high speed of progress in the laboratory has not been matched by the progress towards applying this knowledge in the clinic. For example, specific knowledge of cancer-associated changes in the expression and glycosylation of various mucins, which can aid in the diagnosis as well as prognosis of GI cancers, has not yet led to the use of a panel of anti-mucin antibodies as a standard diagnostic tool. Similarly, many more opportunities exist for using mucin-based therapies than are currently being considered in the clinic. This chapter aimed to highlight some of these opportunities and to interest clinician scientists in exploring them in the near future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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