Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Proteomics research aids cancer diagnosis and treatment

11.04.2003


A new technique may allow physicians to monitor patients’ responses to molecularly targeted drugs, according to researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) *. The finding was one of three advances in proteomics – the study of proteins within cells – scheduled to be announced by researchers from the NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program in a press briefing at the 94th Annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, which was canceled.



Monitoring Cancer Treatment

In the first study, the researchers successfully identified specific proteins that may be useful in monitoring patients treated for breast or ovarian cancer. Their approach, based on changing levels of active proteins inside tumor cells, could help physicians determine early during treatment whether a particular drug is working effectively for an individual cancer patient.


"The results of our study suggest this approach may help us tailor treatment to individual patients," noted Virginia Espina, M.S., M.T. (ASCP), NCI, the lead investigator on the study.

Because molecularly targeted drugs are designed to target specific molecules that have gone awry in cancer cells, researchers can predict which of the cell’s many complex signaling pathways these drugs are likely to affect. In ongoing studies at NCI, researchers are using proteomic technology to monitor the key pathways likely to be influenced by the molecularly targeted drugs Gleevec®, Herceptin®, and Iressa®.

To monitor changes in tumor cell proteins, the researchers isolated cancer cells from tumor biopsies and measured the level of various proteins involved in the signaling pathways targeted by the drugs. The scientists measured not only the total amount of each protein, but also how much of the protein was in its active form. These proteins were measured prior to treatment and at selected times after treatment.

The researchers found that prior to treatment, patients with breast cancer who had a poor clinical outcome tended to have more of the active form of a protein known as AKT, which promotes cell survival. Treatment with Herceptin®, however, resulted in a change in the relative amount of the active form of AKT, enabling tumor cell death.

"Treatment with Herceptin® appears to alter the level of active AKT in tumors. We may be able to measure the degree of this change in patients who are receiving treatment to determine whether a drug that inhibits this signaling pathway is best for their individual cancer," said Lance Liotta, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Clinical Proteomics Program and the senior NCI investigator on the study.

The researchers expect to be able to apply the proteomic approach to monitor the treatment of other cancers with molecularly targeted drugs, but further research is required to identify the best proteins to measure in those tumors.

Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer

In another study, in collaboration with Correlogic Systems Inc., NCI and FDA scientists have improved the NCI/FDA/Correlogic method of ovarian cancer diagnosis currently under evaluation**. The approach uses Correlogic’s artificial intelligence computer programs to analyze the patterns of proteins in the blood and can detect the presence of disease even at early stages. In a previously published study, researchers used the technique to successfully differentiate between blood samples taken from patients with ovarian cancer and those from unaffected individuals.

The researchers discovered patterns of proteins that correctly identify 100 percent of blood samples as being from either unaffected individuals or patients with ovarian cancer. This is an improvement on the previous analysis, which correctly identified 100 percent of the samples from patients with cancer, but only 95 percent of the non-cancer samples. The researchers analyzed the proteins using mass spectroscopy, a technique that sorts proteins and other molecules based on their weight and electrical charge; they attribute the improvement in specificity primarily to the use of a higher resolution mass spectrometer in the most recent study. "The increased resolution allows us to distinguish more features within the patterns generated from the serum samples," said Timothy Veenstra, Ph.D., of the Mass Spectrometry Center at NCI-Frederick.

Visualizing Protein Patterns

The NCI-FDA team has also developed new tools for visualizing and analyzing protein patterns***. Beyond identifying the presence of ovarian cancer and other diseases, these tools may allow researchers to determine how far the disease has progressed by matching specific proteomic patterns to a particular stage.

"The new tools improve upon previous methods of identifying discriminatory protein patterns by allowing researchers to visualize the entire set of proteins in a single view, as well as zoom in and out to focus on regions of interest within the data," said Emanuel Petricoin III, Ph.D., co-director of the Clinical Proteomics Program and the senior FDA researcher on the project.

"Using these visualization tools, the identification of proteomic patterns that aid in disease diagnosis can be done with greater sensitivity and accuracy," said Donald Johann Jr., M.D., of the NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program, lead investigator of the study. "This new method reduces the risk of error, increases our productivity, and provides an efficient method to analyze large sets of protein data.

NCI Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://cancer.gov/cancerinfo/digestpage/proteomics
http://cancer.gov/cancerinfo/digestpage/proteomics

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>