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Aberrant glycosylation has been associated with a number of diseases including cancer. Our aim was to elucidate changes in whole plasma N-glycosylation between colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and controls in one of the largest cohorts of its kind. A set of 633 CRC patients and 478 age and gender matched controls was analysed. Additionally, patients were stratified into four CRC stages. Moreover, N-glycan analysis was carried out in plasma of 40 patients collected prior to the initial diagnosis of CRC. Statistically significant differences were observed in the plasma N-glycome at all stages of CRC, this included a highly significant decrease in relation to the core fucosylated bi-antennary glycans F(6)A2G2 and F(6)A2G2S(6)1 (P < 0.0009). Stage 1 showed a unique biomarker signature compared to stages 2, 3 and 4. There were indications that at risk groups could be identified from the glycome (retrospective AUC = 0.77 and prospective AUC = 0.65). N-glycome biomarkers related to the pathogenic progress of the disease would be a considerable asset in a clinical setting and it could enable novel therapeutics to be developed to target the disease in patients at risk of progression.
- Journal Article