Immunoproteome and cancer

One of the challenges of successfully treating ovarian cancer is that it is largely asymptomatic until it is quite advanced.

Randall C Willis
DOYLESTOWN, Pa.—One of the challenges of successfully treating ovarian cancer is that it is largely asymptomatic until it is quite advanced. To address this problem, researchers at Immunotope decided to use proteomic technologies to screen the tumor-reactive autoantibody profile of ovarian cancers and MHC-associated peptides on tumor surfaces to identify novel biomarkers. They hoped to then use these markers as candidates for the diagnosis and immunotherapeutic treatment of ovarian cancer.
 
As they presented in Journal of Proteome Research, the researchers used autoantibodies in cancer patient sera to immunoprecipitate native tumor proteins, identifying the proteins with LC/MS/MS. Similarly, they isolated tumor-associated MHC-peptide complexes by immunoaffinity purification with pan-MHC antibodies, also analyzing these samples by LC/MS/MS. They then compared the two data sets to find common autoantigens.
 
Of the ~100 autoantibody targets the researchers identified, several were related to proteins involved in a variety of tumor processes, such as transcription, kinases, cell signaling and growth, and tumor suppression. Furthermore, they identified several proteins that offered good potential as diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
 
"Currently, we are evaluating a panel of autoantibody biomarkers for the development of an array-based test that is capable of detecting different types of ovarian cancer at its earliest stages," the authors write, as well as evaluating several candidates that might lead to cancer vaccine development.

Randall C Willis

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