SEATTLE Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have demonstrated in mice that the performance of a novel biomarker-development pipeline using targeted mass spectrometry is robust enough to support the use of an analogous approach in humans. The findings, by principal investigator Amanda Paulovich, M.D., Ph.D., an associate member of the Hutchinson Center's Clinical Research Division, are published in Nature Biotechnology.
Paulovich and colleagues demonstrated that a staged, targeted pipeline approach using mass spectrometry to prioritize and validate proteins of interest enabled them to test a far larger number of biomarker candidates than would have been possible using conventional technologies, making a substantial improvement over the current state of biomarker evaluation.
"If, as we hope, this approach enables more efficient translation of novel biomarkers into use as diagnostic tests, the effect will be an improved ability to personalize medicine by optimizing our treatment of individual patients, thus improving patient outcomes and also helping to contain health care costs," Paulovich said.
The researchers undertook this proof-of-concept study in an attempt to accelerate and streamline the process of biomarker candidate testing because, over nearly a decade, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the discovery of promising protein biomarkers of human diseases, particularly biomarkers found in the blood. Despite this significant investment, the number of new FDA-approved blood-based biomarkers has remained very low.
Several factors have contributed to this low return on investment. Each promising biomarker must be further studied in clinical trials, which requires researchers to measure the abundance of each candidate biomarker in hundreds of patient samples. Because the odds are extraordinarily low that any one biomarker candidate will provide clinically useful information, large numbers of candidates mu
|Contact: Kristen Woodward|
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center