Glyco-neoepitopes (GNE) are new, tumor specific targets and their identification process represents a technology platform to select for such epitopes. A GNE is defined as a conformational combination of a modified (aberrant) glycosylation and the peptide backbone of a tumor associated protein.
The combination of these two tumor-associated antigens provides completely new structures (glyco-neoepitope) on the surface of a cell which should be extremely tumor specific. Anti glyco-neoepitope antibody would therefore recognize the carbohydrate indicative for a malignant transformation (e.g. Lewis Y, sTn etc.) only in conjunction with a peptide structure on the tumor-associated glycoprotein. Even glycoproteins with relatively high levels of expression on normal cells could be used as new targets for immunotherapy as they are only recognized if expressed by cancer cells.