Introduction: Aberrant glycosylation has been associated with many diseases. Decades of research activities have reported many reliable glycan biomarkers of different diseases which enable effective disease diagnostics and prognostics. However, none of the glycan markers have been approved for clinical diagnosis. Thus, a review of these studies is needed to guide the successful clinical translation. Area covered: In this review, we describe and discuss advances in analytical methods enabling clinical glycan biomarker discovery, focusing only on studies of released glycans. This review also summarizes the different glycobiomarkers identified for cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, hepatitis B and C, and other diseases. Expert commentary: Along with the development of techniques in quantitative glycomics, more glycans or glycan patterns have been reported as better potential biomarkers of different diseases and proved to have greater diagnostic/diagnostic sensitivity and specificity than existing markers. However, to successfully apply glycan markers in clinical diagnosis, more studies and verifications on large biological cohorts need to be performed. In addition, faster and more efficient glycomic strategies need to be developed to shorten the turnaround time. Thus, glycan biomarkers have an immense chance to be used in clinical prognosis and diagnosis of many diseases in the near future.
- cancer and other diseases
- clinical application