Heparanase is an enzyme expressed normally in platelets and in placenta at high levels, and is undetectable in
other normal human tissues. Heparanase degrades the heparan sulfate saccharides of the extracellular matrix. The real
problem starts when tumor cells express heparanase; this results in increased tumor angiogenesis, aggressiveness, and metastasis.
Patents filed on heparanase detection, suppression, and function modulation were not translated yet into products
(tested in Phase III trials). The mismatch between researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies, which identified
the first 20 years of heparanase research, is changing and will hopefully foster the arrival of some of these patent inventions
for clinical applicability.
Keywords: Alternative splicing, angiogenesis, cancer, heparanase, heparin, hemorrhage, metastasis, Spalax.
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