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Galectin-3 may serve as a potential marker for diagnosis and prognosis in papillary thyroid carcinoma: a meta-analysis

Authors Tang W, Huang C, Tang C, Xu J, Wang H

Received 15 August 2015

Accepted for publication 22 November 2015

Published 22 January 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 455—460

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S94514

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianmin Xu


Weiwei Tang,1 Congwei Huang,2 Chongyin Tang,1 Jin Xu,1 Hanjin Wang1

1Department of General Surgery, 2Department of Endocrinology, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China

Background: Galectin-3 is a member of the beta-galactoside-binding protein family and functions as a modulator of cell growth through galactoside-binding protein correlated with the occurrence and metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
Methods: A systematic review of published articles on Web of Science and PubMed was performed. After establishing inclusion and exclusion criteria, nine articles were selected. Three studies referred to galectin-3 expression in PTC and non-PTC patients. Three studies referred to galectin-3 expression in PTC patients with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and without LNM. Three studies referred to galectin-3 expression in both PTC (with and without LNM) and non-PTC patients. Data analysis was performed by using RevMan5.2 software.
Results: A total of 424 patients from six eligible studies that provided data about galectin-3 expression in PTC and non-PTC patients were included. A total of 378 patients from six eligible studies that provided data about galectin-3 expression in PTC with LNM and without LNM were included. Immunohistochemistry technique was used in all the studies. Galectin-3 was found to be a highly sensitive (275/424, 64.86%) marker in the diagnosis of PTC, but was found to be expressed only in a few cases involving other types of thyroid lesions (58/424, 13.68%). The odds ratio, expressed as PTC group versus other thyroid lesions group, was 13.97 (95% CI: 7.51–26.01, P<0.00001). The results also showed that the positive expression rates of galectin-3 in PTC patients with LNM were higher than those in PTC patients without LNM.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis demonstrated that galectin-3 may become a potentially useful immunomarker to distinguish between PTC and non-PTC patients. In addition, PTC patients with positive expression of galectin-3 were more prone to LNM.

Keywords: immunomarker, metastasis, thyroid lesions, immunohistochemistry

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