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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Galectin-9 as a prognostic factor with antimetastatic potential in breast cancer.

PURPOSE: Galectin-9, a member of the beta-galactoside-binding galectin family, induces aggregation of certain cell types. We assessed the contribution of galectin-9 to the aggregation of breast cancer cells as well as the relation between galectin-9 expression in tumor tissue and distant metastasis in patients with breast cancer. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Subclones of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with high or low levels of galectin-9 expression were established and either cultured on plastic dishes or transplanted into nude mice. The tumors of 84 patients with breast cancer were tested for galectin-9 expression by immunohistochemistry. The patients were followed up for 14 years. RESULTS: MCF-7 subclones with a high level of galectin-9 expression formed tight clusters during proliferation in vitro, whereas a subclone ( K10) with the lowest level of galectin-9 expression did not. However, K10 cells stably transfected with a galectin-9 expression vector aggregated in culture and in nude mice. Ectopic expression of galectin-9 also reduced MCF-7 cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins. Tumors of 42 of the 84 patients were galectin-9 positive, and those of 19 of the 21 patients with distant metastasis were galectin-9 negative. None of the 13 patients with galectin-9-positive tumors and lymph node metastasis up to level II manifested distant metastasis. The cumulative disease-free survival ratio for galectin-9-positive patients was more favorable than that for the galectin-9-negative group (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that galectin-9 status influenced distant metastasis independently of and to a greater extent than lymph node metastasis. CONCLUSIONS: Galectin-9 is a possible prognostic factor with antimetastatic potential in breast cancer.[1]


  1. Galectin-9 as a prognostic factor with antimetastatic potential in breast cancer. Irie, A., Yamauchi, A., Kontani, K., Kihara, M., Liu, D., Shirato, Y., Seki, M., Nishi, N., Nakamura, T., Yokomise, H., Hirashima, M. Clin. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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