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In recent years, the use of lectins for screening of potential biomarkers has gained increased importance in cancer research, given the development in glycobiology that highlights altered structural changes of glycans in cancer associated processes. Lectins, having the properties of recognizing specific carbohydrate moieties of glycoconjugates, have become an effective tool for detection of new cancer biomarkers in complex bodily fluids and tissues. The specificity of lectins provides an added advantage of selecting peptides that are differently glycosylated and aberrantly expressed in cancer patients, many of which are not possibly detected using conventional methods because of their low abundance in bodily fluids. When coupled with mass spectrometry, research utilizing lectins, which are mainly from plants and fungi, has led to identification of numerous potential cancer biomarkers that may be used in the future. This article reviews lectin-based methods that are commonly adopted in cancer biomarker discovery research.