International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 352–358 | Cite as

Overexpression of Galectin-3 and its clinical significance in ovarian carcinoma

  • Min Kyu Kim
  • Chang Ohk Sung
  • In-Gu Do
  • Hye-Kyung Jeon
  • Tae Jong Song
  • Hwang Shin Park
  • Yoo-Young Lee
  • Byoung-Gie Kim
  • Jeong-Won Lee
  • Duk-Soo Bae
Original Article



Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a β-galactoside-binding lectin involved in regulating cell growth, angiogenesis, and tumor progression. We investigated the clinical significance of Gal-3 expression including its possible use as a prognostic marker or therapeutic target in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC).


Gal-3 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 71 patients with 54 serous, 13 endometrioid, and 4 mucinous ovarian carcinomas. We assessed the correlation of Gal-3 expression with clinical characteristics including histology, optimal debulking, chemosensitivity, and survival. In vitro, Gal-3 was inhibited using siRNA to evaluate its role in cell growth and sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents in ovarian carcinoma cell lines.


Gal-3 protein, which was mainly cytoplasmic in location, was observed in a majority (63/71, 88.7%) of the EOCs but not in normal ovarian tissues (P < 0.001). High Gal-3 expression in EOCs correlated with shorter progression-free survival (PFS) of patients (P = 0.039; 43.1 and 49.5 months, respectively). Moreover, cotreatment with Gal-3 siRNA and paclitaxel showed an enhanced cytotoxic effect compared with control siRNA in SKOV3 cells.


These findings suggest that Gal-3 expression can be a prognostic factor for PFS and may be involved in regulating the response to paclitaxel-based chemotherapy in the treatment of EOC.


Galectin-3 Ovarian carcinoma siRNA Chemosensitivity Molecular target 



This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project of the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A090088).

Conflict of interest

No author has any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Kyu Kim
    • 1
  • Chang Ohk Sung
    • 2
  • In-Gu Do
    • 3
  • Hye-Kyung Jeon
    • 1
  • Tae Jong Song
    • 1
  • Hwang Shin Park
    • 1
  • Yoo-Young Lee
    • 1
  • Byoung-Gie Kim
    • 1
  • Jeong-Won Lee
    • 1
  • Duk-Soo Bae
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Experimental Pathology Center, Samsung Cancer Research InstituteSamsung Medical CenterSeoulKorea

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