What is the role of serum glycan in the workup of gastric cancer?

Updated: May 21, 2019
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Answer

Distinctive serum glycan patterns may have the potential to serve as markers for gastric cancer risk. In a study of 72 serum samples from patients with gastric cancer, nonatrophic gastritis, or duodenal ulcer, Ozcan and colleagues found that abnormal patterns of serum glycans (sugars attached to proteins) may be useful as a screening tool for identifying patients with Helicobacter pylori infection who are at risk for stomach cancer. [32, 33]

A total of 19 significant differences in serum glycan expression were found between gastric cancer patients and individuals with asymptomatic nonatrophic gastritis. High-mannose–type glycans, glycans with 1 complex type antenna, and bigalactosylated biantennary glycans tended to be lower in gastric cancer patients, whereas levels of nongalactosylated biantennary glycans were higher. Altered serum glycan levels were also seen in study patients with ulcers. [32, 33]


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