Fully Synthetic Carbohydrate Based Cancer Vaccines

Malignantly transformed cells often exhibit aberrant levels and types of cell surface carbohydrates, which are typically displayed as either glycoproteins or glycosphingolipids. Through exposure of the immune system to appropriately presented tumor associated carbohydrate antigens, it is possible to set into motion an immune cascade that would culminate in the elimination of tumor cells presenting the targeted carbohydrates. Creative Biolabs is a world leader in the field of cancer vaccine development. With our extensive experience and advanced platform, we are therefore confident in offering the best development services for fully synthetic carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines. We guarantee the finest results for our customers all over the world.

Although exposure to tumor-associated oligosaccharides alone is not sufficient to evoke an immune response, when tumor associated carbohydrate antigens are presented to the immune system as glycoconjugates, appended to the appropriate immunogenic carrier molecules, antibody formation may be observed. These antibodies are sensitive primarily to the carbohydrate sectors of the glycoconjugates, rather than to the immunogenic carriers. Importantly, the antibodies thus raised are capable of recognizing and binding to tumor cells that overexpress the carbohydrates in question.

Synthetic Carbohydrate Based Cancer Vaccines

Fig.1 Synthetic Carbohydrate Based Cancer Vaccines.

Carbohydrate Synthesis

Creative Biolabs has long been devoted to the development of novel and improved methods for the de novo synthesis of structurally homogeneous carbohydrates and glycopeptides. Although it is possible to obtain carbohydrates through isolation from natural sources, it is exceedingly difficult to isolate adequate quantities of structurally homogeneous material, as carbohydrates often exist in living systems as difficult-to separate heterogeneric mixtures. For the purposes of rigorous and controlled evaluation of the immunologic properties of tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens, it would clearly be advantageous to have access to single, homogeneous glycoforms.

Synthetic Carbohydrate-Based Vaccines

Creative Biolabs provides development services for a range of synthetic carbohydrate-based vaccines including:

  • Unimolecular Monovalent Vaccines
  • Clustered Vaccines
  • Polyvalent Vaccines
  • Unimolecular Multivalent Vaccines

At the conceptual level, the prospect of a carbohydrate-based antitumor vaccine construct appears to be quite attractive. It bears note, however, that a number of practical issues would need to be addressed if one were to undertake to develop a truly useful vaccine of this type. First, there is a great deal of heterogeneity of cell surface carbohydrate expression, even within a particular cancer type. A second complicating factor lies in the nature of the tumor-associated antigens themselves, and in their ability to induce powerful immune responses. It is clear, however, that despite the undeniable challenges of such an undertaking, the potential therapeutic benefits of developing a clinically useful carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccine would be tremendous.

Creative Biolabs is a leader in the field of vaccine development and has focused on the cancer vaccines for years. We have experienced experts and advanced platforms that are able to provide excellent services. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.


  1. Buskas, T. (2009). “Immunotherapy for cancer: synthetic carbohydrate-based vaccines.” Chem Commun (Camb) (36), 5335-5349.

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