Glycosylation in Cancer : Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

This Review discusses the role of glycans in fundamental mechanisms controlling cancer development and progression, and their applications in oncology.Glycans are involved in fundamental molecular and cell biology processes occurring in cancer, such as cell signalling and communication, tumour cell dissociation and invasion, cell–matrix interactions, tumour angiogenesis, immune modulation and metastasis formation.

The roles of glycans in cancer have been highlighted by the fact that alterations in glycosylation regulate the development and progression of cancer, serving as important biomarkers and providing a set of specific targets for therapeutic intervention.