State University of New Jersey, Rutgers New Brunswick United States
Determining which biomarkers are most accurate for therapy responses in cancer is still challenging. We have started to develop a quantitative proteomics assay using targeted MS to develop a panel of peptide biomarkers that connect to their genomic alterations in cancer. We have started to biosynthesize these protein and protein domain biomarkers in bacterial or animal expression systems with uniform 15N-enrichment in house and assess the applicability of our protein biomarkers in identifying the protein levels of two commonly observed genetic alterations in cancer HER2 and BRAF in clinical tissues. Initially, this was done using pre-clinical xenograft tumors with genetic alterations to these genes followed by the development of a panel of protein biomarkers towards these same proteins. We have begun preliminary analyses of these proteins in clinical tissues and have found that they can be detected in fresh frozen human tumors and display increased protein amounts compared to the normal tissue controls. These data will provide proof-of-concept and key preliminary results needed to support our long-term goal of applying a targeted MS platform to a broader panel of cancer associated mutations for clinical applications.