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Oncology. 2005;69(2):167-74. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

Prognostic significance of endogenous adhesion/growth-regulatory lectins in lung cancer.

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Department of Surgery, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary.



To determine the expression of endogenous adhesion/growth-regulatory lectins and their binding sites using labeled tissue lectins as well as the binding profile of hyaluronic acid as an approach to define new prognostic markers.


Sections of paraffin-embedded histological material of 481 lungs from lung tumor patients following radical lung excision processed by a routine immunohistochemical method (avidin-biotin labeling, DAB chromogen). Specific antibodies against galectins-1 and -3 and the heparin-binding lectin were tested. Staining by labeled galectins and hyaluronic acid was similarly visualized by a routine protocol. After semiquantitative assessment of staining, the results were compared with the pT and pN stages and the histological type. Survival was calculated by univariate and multivariate methods.


Binding of galectin-1 and its expression tended to increase, whereas the parameters for galectin-3 decreased in advanced pT and pN stages at a statistically significant level. The number of positive cases was considerably smaller among the cases with small cell lung cancer than in the group with non-small-cell lung cancer, among which adenocarcinomas figured prominently with the exception of galectin-1 expression. Kaplan-Meier computations revealed that the survival rate of patients with galectin-3-binding or galectin-1-expressing tumors was significantly poorer than that of the negative cases. In the multivariate calculations of survival lymph node metastases (p < 0.0001), histological type (p = 0.003), galectin-3-binding capacity (p = 0.01), galectin-3 expression (p = 0.03) and pT status (p = 0.003) proved to be independent prognostic factors, not correlated with the pN stage.


The expression and the capacity to bind the adhesion/growth regulatory galectin-3 is defined as an unfavorable prognostic factor not correlated with the pTN stage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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