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Galectin Targeted Therapy in Oncology: Current Knowledge and Perspectives.

ABSTRACT: 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 ?-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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5796159 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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