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Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2008 Jan;8(1):92-121.

Glycoconjugates in cancer therapy.

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Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, della Scienza 2, 20126 Milano, Italy.


This review focuses on recent efforts in glycoconjugate construction for the creation and evaluation of vaccines based on carbohydrate cancer-associated antigens. This therapeutic approach takes advantage from the known tendency of transformed cells to express selective carbohydrate motifs otherwise hidden in normal cells. The immunological response is elicited by the association in the same molecule a carbohydrate, as B-cell antigen, and a peptide, or an entire protein, as T-cell epitope. We will review on the synthesis and the immunological investigation of various glycoconjugates presenting tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens. Different approaches including the use of clustered glycoconjugates such as multiple antigenic glycopeptides (MAG), and glyconanoparticles as potential anti-tumour therapeutics will be considered.

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