Galectin-3 is a presurgical marker of human thyroid carcinoma.

Cancer research (1998-07-29)
F Orlandi, E Saggiorato, G Pivano, B Puligheddu, A Termine, S Cappia, P De Giuli, A Angeli

Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein endowed with an affinity for beta-galactosides. It has been shown to play an important role in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and in pre-mRNA splicing. Furthermore, it is involved in the control of cell growth, neoplastic transformation, and metastasis. Interestingly, high levels of galectin-3 expression have been recently described in malignant thyroid neoplasias, but not in adenomas or in normal thyroid tissue. We investigated galectin-3 expression in human presurgical specimens obtained by fine-needle aspiration biopsy. We analyzed galectin-3 expression by immunoperoxidase staining in both paraffin-embedded cytological thyroid sediments (cell blocks) obtained by fine-needle aspiration biopsy and their histological counterparts. A total of 64 samples were examined: 17 follicular carcinomas; 18 papillary carcinomas; and 29 follicular adenomas. All cell blocks and histological samples of papillary carcinomas expressed high levels of galectin-3 at either the cytoplasmic or nuclear level. Among follicular carcinomas, all histological samples expressed galectin-3, whereas 14 of 17 corresponding cell blocks were positive in the cytoplasm. No evidence of cytoplasmic galectin-3 expression was observed in 26 of 29 follicular adenomas. Hence, cytoplasmic galectin-3 staining seems to be a reliable, easy, and cheap marker for presurgical diagnosis of follicular carcinomas and an even more suitable one for papillary carcinomas.

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Galectin-3 (9C4) Mouse Monoclonal Antibody