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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 210;

Galectin Targeted Therapy in Oncology: Current Knowledge and Perspectives

Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology, Silesian Medical University, Katowice 40-027, Poland
Department of Biochemistry, Silesian Medical University, Katowice 40-752, Poland
Clinical and Experimental Oncology Department, Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Gliwice 44-101, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 10 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
Full-Text   |   PDF [874 KB, uploaded 10 January 2018]


The incidence and mortality of cancer have increased over the past decades. Significant progress has been made in understanding the underpinnings of this disease and developing therapies. Despite this, cancer still remains a major therapeutic challenge. Current therapeutic research has targeted several aspects of the disease such as cancer development, growth, angiogenesis and metastases. Many molecular and cellular mechanisms remain unknown and current therapies have so far failed to meet their intended potential. Recent studies show that glycans, especially oligosaccharide chains, may play a role in carcinogenesis as recognition patterns for galectins. Galectins are members of the lectin family, which show high affinity for β-galactosides. The galectin–glycan conjugate plays a fundamental role in metastasis, angiogenesis, tumor immunity, proliferation and apoptosis. Galectins’ action is mediated by a structure containing at least one carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). The potential prognostic value of galectins has been described in several neoplasms and helps clinicians predict disease outcome and determine therapeutic interventions. Currently, new therapeutic strategies involve the use of inhibitors such as competitive carbohydrates, small non-carbohydrate binding molecules and antibodies. This review outlines our current knowledge regarding the mechanism of action and potential therapy implications of galectins in cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: galectins; cancer; diagnosis; galectins in therapy galectins; cancer; diagnosis; galectins in therapy
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Wdowiak, K.; Francuz, T.; Gallego-Colon, E.; Ruiz-Agamez, N.; Kubeczko, M.; Grochoła, I.; Wojnar, J. Galectin Targeted Therapy in Oncology: Current Knowledge and Perspectives. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 210.

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