The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology explores the use of glycoproteomic biomarkers in detecting various types of polyps, which are crucial in the early detection of advanced adenomas (AAs) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Glycosylation, a process that plays a significant role in the host immune response during cancer development, is the focus of this research.
Using samples from an observational study (NCT05445570), researchers identified three distinct histologic polyp groups: adenomatous (AP), hyperplastic (HP), or serrated (SP). They employed a combination of liquid-chromatography/mass-spectrometry and AI-powered data processing to assess glycopeptide (GP) and non-glycosylated peptide quantification transitions from serum samples.
The study involved 1,035 subjects with distinct polyp histologies and 1,300 polyp-free controls. It was found that the risk of polyp presence significantly increased in patients over 60 years old (AP RR 1.40), males (AP RR 1.74), or those with a BMI over 25. Out of the GP biomarker panel, 15 GPs were associated with the risk of polyp presence, but only 7 GP markers remained significantly associated after adjusting for age, sex, and BMI.
Specifically, two biomarkers were found to have a protective effect against adenomatous polyps, while three increased the risk. One biomarker increased the risk of hyperplastic polyps, and two increased the risk of serrated polyps, with one biomarker found to decrease this risk.
The study concludes that glycoproteomic biomarkers are effective in assessing the risk of polyp presence by distinct histology. This novel approach harnesses the power of glycobiology in the liquid biopsy domain for AAs/CRC detection. The exact function of these GP markers in the development of different polyp types warrants further exploration in future studies.