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Hyaluronic acid in digestive cancers

Abstract

Purpose

Hyaluronan (HA), an extracellular and peri-cellular glycosaminoglycan with a large molecular weight, plays an important role in cancer growth and metastasis. The aim of this study was to summarize the biological roles and regulation of HA and small HA fragments, and their metabolismn enzymes and receptors in human digestive cancers.

Methods

A systematic literature search mainly focusing on the biological roles of HA in the development and progression of human digestive cancers was performed using electronic databases.

Results

The correlation between HA accumulation and tumor progression has been shown in various digestive cancers. HA and HA fragment-tumor cell interaction could activate the downstream signaling pathways, promoting cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion, and inducing angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, stem cell-like property, and chemoradioresistance in digestive cancers.

Conclusions

A better insight into the mechanism of HA and HA fragment involvement in digestive cancer progression might be useful for the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would sincerely thank the reviewers and editors for critically reviewing this paper and for the constructive and thoughtful comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the Medical Scientific Research Foundation of Anhui Province (No.: 2010A009). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Author contributions

Wu RL, Huang L, Zhao HC, and Geng XP designed the research; Wu RL and Huang L performed the research and wrote the paper; Zhao HC and Geng XP critically reviewed the paper.

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Correspondence to Xiao-Ping Geng.

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Ruo-Lin Wu and Lei Huang have contributed equally to this paper.

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Wu, R., Huang, L., Zhao, H. et al. Hyaluronic acid in digestive cancers. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 143, 1–16 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-016-2213-5

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Keywords

  • Hyaluronan
  • Receptor
  • Digestive cancer
  • Tumor growth
  • Epithelial–mesenchymal transition
  • Metastasis
  • Prognosis