Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Alliance of Glycobiologists for Cancer Research

Representative image for the Alliance of Glycobiologists for Cancer Research

Credit: NCI Division of Cancer Prevention

Glycans are sugars that are linked together, which often form complex structures and are bound to proteins and lipids. These molecules are expressed on the surfaces of cells and mediate many biological processes. Recent evidence suggests that cancers display alterations in glycan structures, and glycan-based biomarkers represent a largely untapped area relevant to cancer detection and diagnosis.

This Alliance is determining the biological mechanisms that alter glycosylation to promote cancer and developing glycan-based markers that can be used for the early detection of cancer.

The U01 research projects of the Alliance were funded by the NCI Division of Cancer Biology and NCI Division of Cancer Prevention through PAR-17-206 and PAR-17-207.

Additional information can be found on the Alliance’s website.

Biological Tumor Glycomics Laboratories

The five Biological Tumor Glycomics Laboratories of the Alliance are advancing the understanding of the role of altered glycosylation and other modifications in carbohydrate structure in cancer. Researchers of the laboratories are investigating the biology of modifications in carbohydrate structure that influence cellular transformation, cancer progression, and metastasis. Ultimately, the basic findings and glycobiological data aim to be the translated into clinical applications.

Translational Tumor Glycomics Laboratories

The five Translational Tumor Glycomics Laboratories of the Alliance are discovering how structural changes in carbohydrates promote cancer progression and identifying glycan-based abnormalities that can be used as biomarkers for early cancer detection. The most promising biomarker candidates will ultimately be tested in clinical validation studies.

Partnering Groups with the Alliance

The Common Fund Glycoscience Program (CFG) partners with the Alliance of Glycobiologists for Cancer Research. It offers many unique core resources that are specific to glycomics and CFG labs have developed and share numerous tools for glycoscience studies.

NCI's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) promotes the clinical validation of cancer biomarkers for early detection and cancer risk. This consortium is helping labs of the Alliance validate glycan-based cancer biomarkers.

DCB Contact for the Alliance

For additional information about the Alliance of Glycobiologists for Cancer Research, please contact Dr. Natalia Mercer.

Funded Projects

PAR-17-206: Translational Tumor Glycomics Laboratories

Institution Principal Investigator(s) Project Title
Florida International University Karen L. Abbott Glycomics Laboratory for the for the Development of Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers
Van Andel Research Institute Brian B. Haab, Randy Brand Subpopulations of Pancreatic Cancer Cells Defined by Glycan Markers
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor David M. Lubman, Yehia Mechref Screening of Glycan Markers in Serum for Early Detection of HCC in Different Etiologies of Disease
Medical University of South Carolina Anand S. Mehta, Richard Drake, Amit Singal, Yujin Hoshida Glycopathology of HCC: Identification of the Source Cells of Serum Fucosylation
Stanford University Sharon Pitteri, Carolyn Bertozzi, James Brooks Glycosylation and Immune Evasion in Urologic Tumors

PAR-17-207: Biological Tumor Glycomics Laboratories

Institution Principal Investigator(s) Project Title
University of Alabama at Birmingham Susan L. Bellis, Lance Wells Sialylation-dependent Mechanisms Driving Pancreatic Cancer Progression
Florida International University Charles Dimitroff, Stuart Haslam Analysis of Glycomic Regulators in Melanoma Progression
Drexel University Mauricio Reginato, Lauren Ball Role of O-GlcNAcome on Breast Cancer Initiating Cells
Florida International University Robert Sackstein Analysis of E-selectin Ligands of Human Acute Leukemia Cells and their Biology in Leukemogenesis
University of South Florida Lianchun Wang, Houjian Cai Heparan Sulfate in Prostate Cancer
  • Updated: