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Esophageal cancer research today and tomorrow: Lessons from algae and other perspectives

1 Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine, FEFU, 8 Sukhanova str, Vladivostok, Primorsky region, 690950, Russian Federation
2 Laboratory of Pharmacology and Bioassays, School of Biomedicine, FEFU, 8 Sukhanova str, Vladivostok, Primorsky region, 690950, Russian Federation
3 Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, The French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology for Drylands, The J. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede-Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 8499000, Israel

Special Issues: Future of Biomedicine 2017

Esophageal cancer is an increasing concern due to poor prognosis, aggressive disease modalities, and a lack of efficient therapeutics. The two types of esophageal cancer: esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) are responsible for an estimated 450,000 annual deaths, with over 457,000 new patients diagnosed in 2015, making it the eighth most prevalent and the 10th most fatal cancer worldwide. As esophageal cancer prevalence continues to increase, and so does the pressing need for the development of new and effective strategies for the early diagnostics, prevention, and treatment of this cancer, as well for building the innovative research tools to understand the affected molecular mechanisms.
This short review summarizes the current statistics and recent research of the problems and solutions related to the esophageal cancer, and offer a brief overview of its epidemiology, molecular alterations, and existing biomedical tools. We will discuss currently available research tools and discuss selected approaches we deem relevant to find new model systems and therapies for the future with the special focus on novel opportunities presented by the unique molecules found in algae, namely carbohydrates and lipids. Their remarkable chemical variability is connected to their striking structural and functional properties, which combined with the relative novelty of these compounds to cancer biology, warrants interest of the wide biomedical community to these molecules, especially in the esophageal cancer theory and practice.
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