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Cancer Biomarkers Research Group

Tumor Glycomics Laboratories of the NIH Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer

The National Cancer Institute is funding an initiative to discover, develop, and clinically validate cancer biomarkers based on complex carbohydrate structures attached to proteins and lipids. Seven Tumor Glycome Laboratories are searching for glycan-based biomarkers for breast, ovarian, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancers and melanoma.

Numerous studies comparing normal and tumor cells have shown that changes in glycan structures on the cell correlate with cancer development. Compared to molecular proteins, molecular glycans are extremely abundant and recent advances in technology have now allowed the effective systematic study of these structures.

NCI's Tumor Glycome Laboratories are the principle component of the trans-NIH Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer. The other members of the Alliance are the Consortium for Functional Glycomics Exit Disclaimer and supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Glycomics and Glycotechnology Resource Centers supported by the National Center for Research Resources.

The seven Tumor Glycome Laboratories are:

Project Title
Principal Investigator
Objectives of Project
(Cancer Type Under Study)
Discovery and clinical validation of cancer biomarkers using printed glycan array.

Margaret Huflejt, PhD
New York University
Determine the diagnostic or prognostic anti-glycan auto-antibody signatures in patients and for breast cancer, determine how many years prior to diagnosis that progression to cancer can be predicted.

(Breast, Ovary, Lung, Melanoma)
Immunogenic sugar moieties of prostate cancers.

Denong Wang, MD, PhD
Stanford Research Institute
Identify anti-glycan autoantibody signatures in prostate cancer patients.

Early cancer detection and prognosis through glycomics.

Milos Novotny, PhD
Indiana University
Identify biomarkers from glycans released from serum glycoproteins and develop high-throughput platforms to measure biomarkers suitable for the clinic.

(Prostate, Ovary, Lung, Colon)
Glycan markers for the early detection of breast cancer

William Hancock, PhD, ScD
Northeastern University
Identify breast cancer biomarkers based on aberrant glycan modifications on defined animo acid residues of serum glycoproteins.

Tumor glycomics laboratory for discovery of pancreatic cancer markers.

J. Michael Pierce, PhD
University of Georgia
Identify glycoprotein and glycolipid biomarkers from pancreatic cancer in pancreatic ductal fluid that can also be found in serum and development of assays for promising biomarkers.

Autoantibodies against glycopeptide epitopes as serum biomarkers of cancer.

Michael Hollingsworth, PhD
University of Nebraska
Determine auto-antibody signatures to mucin glycopeptides in pancreatic and breast cancer patients.

(Pancreas, Breast)
Neu5Gc and Anti-Neu5Gc antibodies for detection of cancer and cancer risk.

Ajit Varki, MD
University of California San Diego
Expand on research showing that cancer patients express antibodies to the cell surface sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Gc).

(Lung, Pancreas, Ovary)

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