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Capturing cancer: A powerful new technique for early diagnosis
Date:7/14/2014

etection especially challenging. Vast research efforts notwithstanding, efforts to establish better pre-symptomatic beacons of disease have been disappointing.

Immunosignatures take a different approach. Rather than using a reductionist biomarker paradigm, it relies on a multiplexed system in which the entire population of antibodies circulating in blood at a given time is profiled.

The technique relies on a microarray consisting of thousands of random sequence peptides, imprinted on a glass slide. (The peptides used are 20 unit amino acid chains, randomly composed.)

When a tiny droplet of blood, (less than a microliter is needed), is spread across the microarray, antibodies in the blood selectively bind with individual peptides, forming a portrait of immune activityan immunosignature.

Because the peptide sequences are random and not related to any naturally occurring disease antigens, the authors refer to immunosignatures as "disease agnostic," which means that a single platform is potentially applicable to multiple disease types. This is a substantial improvement over highly specific bioassays that can only test for a single biomarker antibody, often with substantial misidentification or inadequate sensitivity.

The current study puts immunosignatures to the test, evaluating the technique's ability to identify multiple disease types. The team first "trained" the system to calibrate results and establish reference immunosignatures, using 20 samples each from five cancer patient cohorts, along with 20 non-cancer patients. Once reference immunosignatures were established, the technique was tested in blind evaluation of 120 independent samples covering the same diseases. The results demonstrate 95 percent accuracy.

To further assess the diagnostic power of immunosignaturing, over 1500 historical samples comprising 14 different diseases, including 12 cancers were tested. In this case, 75 percent of the sampl
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Contact: Joseph Caspermeyer
Joseph.Caspermeyer@asu.edu
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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