Research Papers:

Positive associations between galectin-3 and PSA levels in prostate cancer patients: a prospective clinical study-I

Kosei Nakajima, Lance K. Heilbrun, Victor Hogan, Daryn Smith, Elisabeth Heath and Avraham Raz _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:82266-82272. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12619

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Kosei Nakajima1,2,*, Lance K. Heilbrun1,3,*, Victor Hogan1,2, Daryn Smith1,3, Elisabeth Heath1 and Avraham Raz1,2

1 Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

2 Department of Pathology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

3 Biostatistics Core, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

* Authors share equal credit

Correspondence to:

Avraham Raz, email:

Elisabeth Heath, email:

Keywords: galectin-3, PSA, autoantibody, diagnostic biomarker, prostate cancer

Received: August 17, 2016 Accepted: September 20, 2016 Published: October 12, 2016


Galectin-3 (Gal-3), an oncogenic pro-inflammatory protein, has been suggested as a possible complementary diagnostic candidate to prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test for prostate cancer patients. The presence of the proteins in the circulation (biomarkers) may elicit an intrinsic humoral immune reaction by generating autoantibodies, which consequently could alter the detection levels. Here, we report the associations of the two prostate cancer biomarkers, Gal-3 and PSA in patients at different clinical states of prostate cancer while taking into account the autoantibody levels. A blind, prospective, single institution, pilot study was conducted. A total of 95 men were classified into 5 groups: healthy controls (Group1), newly diagnosed patients (Group2), no recurrence after local therapy (Group3), rising PSA after local therapy (Group4), and metastatic patients (Group5). Gal-3 and PSA level were divided by their respective autoantibodies, which yielded relative PSA and relative Gal-3 levels. After the adjustments, Spearman’s rank correlations and linear regression modeling revealed the positive associations between relative Gal-3 and relative PSA levels among all 95 men combined (rho = 0.446, P < 0.0001; fitted slope 0.448, P < 0.0001), in Group2 (rho = 0.616, P = 0.0050; fitted slope 0.438, P =0.0011), and Group3 (rho = 0.484, P = 0.0360; fitted slope 0.470, P = 0.0187). The data show positive associations of relative Gal-3 and relative PSA levels in prostate cancer patients, notably at early clinical time course. Allowing for the influence of autoantibodies, Gal-3 level might be considered as a potential biomarker since it is positively associated with PSA level.

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