Glycosylation in the Era of Cancer-Targeted Therapy: Where Are We Heading?

Cancer Cell. 2019 Jul 8;36(1):6-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2019.06.006.


This review provides insights on the impact of glycosylation in cancer biology and its influence in the current approaches of targeted cancer therapies in the clinical setting. The roles of glycosylation in cancer signaling, tumor progression, and metastasis are reviewed as well as glycans and glycan-binding proteins in tumor immunomodulation. Moreover, the latest reports on glycans influencing targeted therapeutic approaches in cancer are summarized. Finally, we discuss the future challenges of the field, outlining potential applications of glycan-based biomarkers for patient stratification and strategies for improving personalized cancer treatment.

Keywords: cancer therapy; glycan-based; glycosylation; immunotherapy; targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Polysaccharides