Clinical utility of high-throughput glycome analysis in patients with pancreatic cancer

Kazuhiro Nouso, Maho Amano, Yoichi M. Ito, Koji Miyahara, Yuki Morimoto, Hironari Kato, Koichiro Tsutsumi, Takeshi Tomoda, Naoki Yamamoto, Shinichiro Nakamura, Sayo Kobayashi, Kenji Kuwaki, Hiroaki Hagihara, Hideki Onishi, Yasuhiro Miyake, Fusao Ikeda, Hidenori Shiraha, Akinobu Takaki, Taku Nakahara, Shin Ichiro NishimuraKazuhide Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Most of the glycan changes reported in cancers were based on the examinations of a small number of patients or particular proteins. The aim of this study was to determine the changes of the serum N-glycan profile comprehensively in a large number of pancreatic cancer patients and investigate its clinical utility. Methods: Glycan levels in the serum of 92 pancreatic cancer patients and 243 healthy volunteers (HLT) were examined by comprehensive quantitative high-throughput glycome analysis and were compared with clinical parameters. Results: Out of 66 glycans detected, 15 were differentially expressed in pancreatic cancer, and 10 out of the 15 glycans were significantly up-regulated in cases with distant metastasis. There was a clear increase in overall expression of serum glycans, especially highly-branched glycans with fucose moieties, in pancreatic cancer. Among these 15 glycans, a tri-antennary complex type glycan (m/z 3195) showed the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC = 0.799) for the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The ratio of pairs of glycans on the same path of the biosynthesis pathway (m/z 3195/1914) was found to be significantly higher in pancreatic cancer than in HLT (median = 1.11 and 0.41, respectively; p < 0.0001, AUROC = 0.831). For this pair ratio, the hazard ratio for survival (2.60, 95 % CI = 1.44-4.79) was higher than that of any single glycan and 1-year survival of patients with a high and low ratio was 36.9 and 69.2 %, respectively, (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Comprehensive glycome analysis can be used to know the presence of pancreatic cancer, distant metastasis, and patient prognosis, simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1179
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Diagnosis
  • N-glycan
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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