Predictive value of glucose transporter-1 and glucose transporter-3 for survival of cancer patients: A meta-analysis

Oncotarget. 2017 Feb 21;8(8):13206-13213. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.14570.


Background and objective: The role of glucose transporters in cancers remains contradictory. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association between overall survival and glucose transporter s (GLUTs) 1 and 3 to find an accurate prognostic biomarker.

Methods: We systematically searched the PubMed, EMbase and Medline databases for relevant published studies that were consistent with the eligible criteria up to January 2016, and calculated pooled estimated hazard ratios of GLUT-1 and -3's expressions in different cancer types and ethnic populations. Random-effects models were used to assess estimates from studies with significant heterogeneities.

Results: Overall, 12 studies concerning GLUT 1 and 2 studies concerning GLUT 3, which involved 2008 participants when combined, were included in this analysis. We found that overexpression of GLUTs were significantly correlated to poorer survival rates (HR=1.63, 95%CI=1.09-2.44 and HR=1.89, 95%CI=1.28-2.81). In the subgroup analysis, the GLUT 1 up-regulation was correlated with negative overall survival in pancreatic cancer and gastric cancer and with better overall survival in colorectal cancer. In addition, overexpression of GLUT 1 was associated with a poorer prognosis in the Asian population, while no significance was found in the non-Asian subgroup. However, limitations do exist, which could be handled better.

Conclusions: A combination of GLUTs 1 and 3 might help predict malignancy of cancers and direct effective cancer therapy.

Keywords: GLUT; cancer; glucose transporter; meta-analysis; survival.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asian People
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3