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Readers concerned about cancer’s sugary disguise

Your comments on the April 1, 2017, issue of Science News

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11:20am, May 3, 2017

Sugarcoated

A new wave of potential immune therapies aims to target the network of complex sugars that coat cancer cells, Esther Landhuis reported in “Cancer’s sweet cloak” (SN: 4/1/17, p. 24). Some of these sugars, called sialic acids, help tumors hide from the immune system.

“Are the offending sugars referred to in this article the ones we are eating or are they the result of metabolizing other carbs that we eat?” Gene Yagla asked.

Cancer cells don’t build their disguises from the sugars and carbohydrates that we eat, says Ajit Varki, a glycobiologist at the University of California, San Diego. In general, cells

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