Implications of xenoglycan sensitivity for increased cancer risk

Kimberley J. MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The excellent study by Samraj et al. (1) shows that dietary intake of the nonhuman sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) promotes the production of anti-Neu5Gc antibodies. The resulting “xenosialitis” and associated chronic inflammation was shown to contribute to carcinogenesis.

This article reminded me of another cancer-associated nonhuman glycan stimulating an inflammatory response in the digestive tract of patients. Commins et al. had reported high circulating levels of antigalactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-gal) antibodies in patients that had been exposed to Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) in the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, and the southern half of Missouri, which induced allergic reactions in these patients to red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) after exposure. The authors described levels of circulating anti–α-gal IgE, which increased with number of exposures (tick bites).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1404-E1404
Number of pages1
Issue number12
Early online date20 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2015


  • galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose


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