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Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1453-1491; doi:10.3390/cancers2031453
Review

YKL-40—A Protein in the Field of Translational Medicine: A Role as a Biomarker in Cancer Patients?

1
 and 2,3,*
Received: 13 May 2010; in revised form: 1 July 2010 / Accepted: 9 July 2010 / Published: 12 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
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Abstract: YKL-40 is a 40 kDa glycoprotein produced by cancer cells, inflammatory cells and stem cells. It probably has a role in cell proliferation and differentiation, inflammation, protection against apoptosis, stimulation of angiogenesis, and regulation of extracellular tissue remodelling. Plasma levels of YKL-40 are often elevated in patients with localized or advanced cancer compared to age-matched healthy subjects. Several studies have demonstrated that high plasma YKL-40 is an independent prognostic biomarker of short survival in patients with different types of cancer. However, there is not yet sufficient data to support determination of plasma YKL-40 outside research projects as a biomarker for screening of gastrointestinal cancer and determination of treatment response and poor prognosis before or during treatment and follow-up. Plasma YKL-40 is also elevated in patients with other diseases than cancer, e.g., severe infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, liver fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Co-morbidity should therefore always be considered in patients with cancer, since other sources than cancer cells can increase plasma YKL-40 levels. Future focused translational research projects combining basic and clinical research are needed in a joint effort to answer questions of the complex function and regulation of YKL-40 and the question if plasma YKL-40 is a clinical useful biomarker in patients with cancer.
Keywords: biomarker; cancer; CHI3L1; inflammation; YKL-40; tissue remodelling biomarker; cancer; CHI3L1; inflammation; YKL-40; tissue remodelling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schultz, N.A.; Johansen, J.S. YKL-40—A Protein in the Field of Translational Medicine: A Role as a Biomarker in Cancer Patients? Cancers 2010, 2, 1453-1491.

AMA Style

Schultz NA, Johansen JS. YKL-40—A Protein in the Field of Translational Medicine: A Role as a Biomarker in Cancer Patients? Cancers. 2010; 2(3):1453-1491.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schultz, Nicolai A.; Johansen, Julia S. 2010. "YKL-40—A Protein in the Field of Translational Medicine: A Role as a Biomarker in Cancer Patients?" Cancers 2, no. 3: 1453-1491.



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