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Drug Resist Updat. 2008 Dec;11(6):231-46. doi: 10.1016/j.drup.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

SPARC in cancer biology: its role in cancer progression and potential for therapy.

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Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1M9, Canada.


The ability to effectively target a tumor to achieve complete regression and cure is the ultimate goal that drives our need to better understand tumor biology. Recently, SPARC has generated considerable interest as a multi-faceted protein that belongs to a family of matricellular proteins. It functions not only to modulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, but its de-adhesive and growth inhibitory properties in non-transformed cells have led to studies to assess its role in cancer. Its divergent actions reflect the complexity of this protein, because in certain types of cancers, such as melanomas and gliomas, SPARC is associated with a highly aggressive tumor phenotype, while in others, mainly ovarian, neuroblastomas and colorectal cancers, SPARC may function as a tumor suppressor. Recent studies have also demonstrated a role for SPARC in sensitizing therapy-resistant cancers. Here, the role of SPARC in cancer progression and its potential application in cancer therapy is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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