Podoplanin: An emerging cancer biomarker and therapeutic target

Cancer Sci. 2018 May;109(5):1292-1299. doi: 10.1111/cas.13580.


Podoplanin (PDPN) is a transmembrane receptor glycoprotein that is upregulated on transformed cells, cancer associated fibroblasts and inflammatory macrophages that contribute to cancer progression. In particular, PDPN increases tumor cell clonal capacity, epithelial mesenchymal transition, migration, invasion, metastasis and inflammation. Antibodies, CAR-T cells, biologics and synthetic compounds that target PDPN can inhibit cancer progression and septic inflammation in preclinical models. This review describes recent advances in how PDPN may be used as a biomarker and therapeutic target for many types of cancer, including glioma, squamous cell carcinoma, mesothelioma and melanoma.

Keywords: c-type lectin-like receptor 2; cancer; chemotherapy; podoplanin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Disease Progression
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation* / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • PDPN protein, human