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 Diabetes mellitus: A risk factor for early colorectal cancer
27.05.2020 | Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) Heidelberg

nachricht Ultra-thin fibres designed to protect nerves after brain surgery
27.05.2020 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black nitrogen: Bayreuth researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>