Clinical usefulness of alterations in sialic acid, sialyl transferase and sialoproteins in breast cancer

Biochemistry Research Division, The Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute, Asarwa, 380 016 Ahmedabad, India.
Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry 07/2004; 19(2):60-71. DOI: 10.1007/BF02894259
Source: PubMed


Sialic acid, the end moieties of the carbohydrate chains are biologically important and essential for functions of glycoconjugates and are reported to be altered in cancer patients. Two hundred and twenty five breast cancer (BC) patients, 100 patients with benign breast disease (BBD) and 100 healthy females (controls) were enrolled for the study. Eight hundred and twenty four follow-up samples of 225 breast carcinoma patients were also evaluated. The association of sialic acid forms, sialyltransferase and α-2-6 sialoproteins levels with presence and extent as well as prognosis of breast carcinoma was studied. Serum sialic acid forms and sialyltransferase revealed significantly elevated levels among untreated breast cancer patients as compared to the controls, patients with BBD as well as cancer patients in remission. Non-responders showed comparable levels of the markers with those found in breast cancer patients at the time of diagnosis. Higher levels of sialic acid forms at diagnosis were associated with poor prognosis. A positive correlation between serum levels of different forms of sialic acids and extent of malignant disease was observed. The changes in serum proteins with terminal α-2-6 sialic acid correlated well with alterations in the levels of sialic acid forms and sialyltransferase. Malignant tissues showed elevated levels of sialic acid and sialyltransferase as compared to surrounding normal tissues.The results suggested potential utility of these markers in evaluation of clinical outcome.

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