Glycoprotein biomarkers for the detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic cancer (PaC) shows a clear tendency to increase in the next years and therefore represents an important health and social challenge. Currently, there is an important need to find biomarkers for PaC early detection because the existing ones are not useful for that purpose. Recent studies have indicated that there is a large window of time for PaC early detection, which opens the possibility to find early biomarkers that could greatly improve the dismal prognosis of this tumor. The present manuscript reviews the state of the art of the existing PaC biomarkers. It focuses on the anomalous glycosylation process and its role in PaC. Glycan structures of glycoconjugates such as glycoproteins are modified in tumors and these modifications can be detected in biological fluids of the cancer patients. Several studies have found serum glycoproteins with altered glycan chains in PaC patients, but they have not shown enough specificity for PaC. To find more specific cancer glycoproteins we propose to analyze the glycan moieties of a battery of glycoproteins that have been reported to increase in PaC tissues and that can also be found in serum. The combination of these new candidate glycoproteins with their aberrant glycosylation together with the existing biomarkers could result in a panel, which would expect to give better results as a new tool for early diagnosis of PaC and to monitor the disease ​
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