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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2008 Sep;13(3):253-62. doi: 10.1007/s12192-008-0030-8. Epub 2008 Mar 12.

Heat shock proteins in animal neoplasms and human tumours--a comparison.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are implicated in all phases of cancer from proliferation, impaired apoptosis and sustained angiogenesis to invasion and metastasis. The presence of abnormal HSP levels in several human tumours suggests that these proteins could be used as diagnostic and/or prognostic markers, whilst the direct correlation between HSP expression and drug resistance in neoplastic tissues means they could also be used to predict cancer response to specific treatment. HSPs have also been successfully targeted in clinical trials modifying their expression or chaperone activity. Preliminary studies in veterinary medicine have also demonstrated the presence of altered HSP expression in neoplasms, and the study of carcinogenesis and the role of HSPs in animal models will surely be an additional source of information for clinical cancer research.

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