SANTA ROSA, Calif., Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --A groundbreaking peer reviewed
case report by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D. of Amitabha Medical Clinic, demonstrates
for the first time the clinical use of novel biomarker galectin-3 to assess
cancer progression and inflammation. The case study titled, "The Role of
Galectin-3 as a Marker of Cancer and Inflammation in a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer
Patient with Underlying Pro-Inflammatory Comorbidities," was published in the
July 2013 issue of Case Reports in Oncology. This report is the first of its
kind to expand the diagnostic and prognostic applications of the galectin-3
blood serum test, introducing an important clinical tool to assess risk and
progression of metastatic cancer and inflammatory diseases.
In 2011, the galectin-3 blood test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for the screening and prognosis of congestive heart failure and
cardiovascular disease. Approval was granted after an extensive body of
published data, including long-term population studies, demonstrated the active
role of elevated galectin-3 in cardiovascular conditions, fibrosis and early
mortality. However, a rapidly expanding field of published galectin-3 research
also highlights the significance of this rogue molecule as a novel biomarker
that is both an active culprit as well as a byproduct of numerous inflammatory
and malignant cellular processes beyond cardiovascular disease.
An expert on galectin-3, Dr. Eliaz applies the data obtained in this case study
to shed further light on excess galectin-3's mechanisms of action, specifically
inflammatory response to injury and cancer progression. In this report, Dr.
Eliaz 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
Dr. Eliaz states, "This new case report and significant clinical observation
supports the need for further research on the role of galectin-3. The galectin-3
test could well become one of our most important clinical tools in assessing and
monitoring a wide range of conditions beyond cardiovascular disease, including
metastatic cancer and inflammatory conditions."
Source: Eliaz I. The role of galectin-3 as a marker of cancer and inflammation
in a stage IV ovarian cancer patient with underlying pro-inflammatory
comorbidities. Case Rep Oncol. 2013 Jul 3;6(2):343-9.
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