J Cancer 2017; 8(12):2173-2183. doi:10.7150/jca.20480


Osteopontin -- a promising biomarker for cancer therapy

Ran Wei, Janet Pik Ching Wong, Hang Fai Kwok

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Avenida de Universidade, Taipa, Macau

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Wei R, Wong JPC, Kwok HF. Osteopontin -- a promising biomarker for cancer therapy. J Cancer 2017; 8(12):2173-2183. doi:10.7150/jca.20480. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p2173.htm

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Osteopontin (OPN), a multifunctional protein, has emerged as a potentially valuable biomarker for diagnosing and treating cancers. Recent research focuses on its involvement in tumor biology including the cell proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms and pharmacological effects of OPN in cancer development could lead to new targets for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment.

This review explains how the structurally conserved domains of OPN are associated with OPN signaling mediators and CD44, and how the conserved OPN domains determine biological functions. The authors have reviewed representative works of OPN expression in breast cancer and colorectal cancer to elucidate the relationship between OPN and cancer/tumor biology. It has also been shown that the prognostic sensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer, and ovarian cancer improved compared to the individual marker when OPN was analyzed in conjunction with other markers. The therapeutic approaches based on OPN inhibitors are discussed to illustrate recent research progress. Previous clinical data has indicated that OPN has played a unique role in cancer development, but further investigation is required to understand the underlying mechanism. More clinical trials are also required to examine the applicability and efficacy of OPN inhibitors in cancer therapy.

Keywords: Angiogenesis, Biomarker, Osteopontin, Therapeutic target, Tumor biology