Clinical applications of the urokinase receptor (uPAR) for cancer patients

Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(19):1890-910. doi: 10.2174/138161211796718233.


Since decades the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) system has been associated with the invasion of malignant cells. The receptor of urokinase (uPAR) is one of the key players in this proteolytic cascade, because it focuses uPA's proteolytic activity to the cell surface and in addition functions as a signaling receptor. uPAR is highly expressed in virtually all human cancers, suggesting possible clinical applications as diagnostic marker, predictive tool of survival or clinical response, and as a target for therapy and imaging. This review summarizes the possibilities of uPAR in clinical applications for cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator