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New biomarker for cancer and inflammation identified

Washington, Sept. 2 : Scientists have shown that biomarker galectin-3 can be used to assess cancer progression and inflammation.


In this report, Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D. of Amitabha Medical Clinic, presents the first published case documenting the clinical use of galectin-3 to monitor cancer progression and treatment response, as well as inflammatory conditions.

These findings point to an expanded clinical model using galectin-3 testing in the diagnostic and prognostic assessment of numerous chronic, inflammatory diseases.

Unlike biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which only indicate the presence of inflammation, galactin-3 is shown to play a direct role in initiating disease progression.

It is a protein normally present in the body at low concentrations, where it is involved in numerous functions including cell growth and communication. At elevated levels, however, galectin-3 fuels numerous pathologic processes including chronic inflammation and the progression of inflammation to fibrosis; cancer cell adhesion, migration, angiogenesis, and metastasis.

Elevated galectin-3 also allows cancer cells to evade immune response. Research demonstrates elevated galectin-3 levels in patients with melanoma, lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, ovarian, and head and neck cancers as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and others. Galectin-3 levels are also found to be higher in patients with metastatic disease than in patients with localized tumors.

The report has been published in the Case Reports in Oncology.

--ANI (Posted on 02-09-2013)

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