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Panminerva Medica 2006 March;48(1):27-31

lingua: Inglese

Sulfated oligosaccharides and tumor: promoter or inhibitor?

Wu X.-Z.

Cancer Hospital of Tianjin Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China


The topic about the role of sulfated oligosaccharides in carcinogenesis and progression of tumor remains controversial. The present review aims to evaluate the role of sulfated oligosaccharides in carcinogenesis and progression of tumor. The modification of sulfated oligosaccharides, especially chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate, is an important event in carcinogenesis and is correlated with the degree of differentiation. Enhance of chondroitin sulphate may promote carcinogenesis, while enhance of heparin sulphate may promote metastasis. Resistance of antiproliferation activity of sulfated oligosaccharides may contribute to the aberrant behavior of the cancer cell. Some researches supported that sulfated proteoglycan on the cell surface may enhance metastasis; while some soluble sulfated oligosaccharides could suppress metastasis. Thus, sulfated oligosaccharides play double roles, promoter or inhibitor, in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Four topics about the correlation between sulfated oligosaccharides and carcinogensis and progression are very interesting and must be identified: whether the modified sulfated oligosaccharides have a different effect from the unmodified sulfated oligosaccharides; whether different sulfate oligosaccharides have the different action; whether the function of sulfated proteoglycan on the cell surface is different from that of soluble sulfated oligosaccharides; whether the function of sulfated oligosaccharides in primary tumor is different from that in metastasis tumor. Further data on the long-term safety of sulfate oligosaccharides for cancer patients are therefore required to allow overall risk-benefit assessments.

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