Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. An increased molecular understanding of the CRC pathology is warranted to gain insights into the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of the disease. Altered protein glycosylation patterns are associated with most diseases including malignant transformation. Recent advances in mass spectrometry and bioinformatics have accelerated glycomics research and present a new paradigm for cancer biomarker discovery. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based glycoproteomics and glycomics, therefore, hold considerable promise to improve the discovery of novel biomarkers with utility in disease diagnosis and therapy. This review focuses on the emerging field of glycomics to present a comprehensive review of advances in technologies and their application in studies aimed at discovering novel glycan-based biomarkers. We will also discuss some of the challenges associated with using glycans as biomarkers.
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- Colorectal cancer