30 May 2024

Proteomic markers for pan-cancer profiling

Cancer, a dynamic disease with diverse variations within and across individuals. Understanding its complexity shows the need for personalized diagnosis and treatment, moving beyond one-size-fits-all approaches.

In cancer diagnosis and monitoring, a range of biomarkers, including specific proteins, genetic mutations, and other molecular signatures, are used to provide a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the disease. Understanding cancer heterogeneity is paramount for developing targeted and personalized therapeutic strategies.

These biomarkers are often specific to certain types of cancer or even subtypes within a particular cancer type. While each cancer possesses its unique molecular profile, several malignancies exhibit shared driver mutations.

The concept of pan-cancer markers revolves around the examination of commonly mutated genes and genomic abnormalities present in diverse cancers, irrespective of their origin.

FIGURE 1: Tumor Markers Vs Pan-Cancer Markers
Left: Tumor markers can be broadly categorized into tissue-specific and cancer-specific markers, depending on their association with particular types of tissues or specific cancer types. Examples of tumor markers are IDH1 for glioma and BRCA1/2 for
breast cancer.
Right: Pan-cancer markers, such as EGFR, KRAS, HER2, are not specific to a single cancer type but may be associated with general cancer characteristics.

The identification and understanding of pan-cancer markers contribute to a broader understanding of shared pathways and mechanisms in cancer development, potentially leading to the development of universal diagnostic or therapeutic strategies applicable to multiple cancer types.

Utilizing advanced sequencing technologies like next-generation sequencing (NGS), initiatives such as The Cancer Genome Atlas TCGA have played a pivotal role in enhancing our comprehension of DNA and RNA variants across a multitude of cancer types.

However, to fully unravel the complexities of human cancer, we need a holistic approach that combines the wealth of genomic information with the nuanced insights provided by proteomic studies.

FIGURE 2: Examples of Pan-Cancer Markers in Various Human Cancerous Tissue.
A. p53 (anti-p53 monoclonal antibody AMAb90956, Atlas Antibodies)
Left: IHC staining of colorectal cancer. Note strong overexpression of p53 protein in tumor tissue as compared to adjacent normal mucosa.
Middle: ICC-IF staining in A431 cell line showing cell cycle dependent nuclear staining in green. Microtubule probes are visualized in red.
Right: WB analysis in U-251MG cells transfected with control siRNA, target specific siRNA probe #1 and #2, Loading control: Anti- PPIB.
B. EGFR (anti-EGFR polyclonal antibody HPA018530, Atlas Antibodies)
Left: IHC staining of EGFR in high grade glioma.
Middle: IHC staining of EGFR in lung squamous cell carcinoma.
Right IHC staining of EGFR in pancreatic cancer.
C. HER2 (anti-HER2 polyclonal antibody HPA001338, Atlas Antibodies)
Left & Middle: IHC staining of breast and stomach cancer.
Right: ICC-IF staining in A431 cell line showing membranous staining in green. Microtubule and nuclear probes are visualized in red and blue respectively.

Why Proteomic Matters?

Navigating the intricate interplay between genes and proteins holds the key to unlocking a deeper understanding of cancer biology, paving the way for innovative diagnostics and targeted therapies.

In this dynamic landscape, the integration of genomics and proteomics presents both challenges and unparalleled opportunities.

Genomic and transcriptomic analyses, while comprehensive, may not fully capture the intricate complexity of cancer. Proteins, serving as the effectors of genomic functions, play a crucial role in orchestrating intricate molecular processes within cells.

Thus, integrating proteomic studies with genomics and transcriptomics introduces a novel paradigm, enabling the elucidation of hidden and undetected facets of human cancer biology.

Explore over 300 primary antibodies manufactured by Atlas Antibodies for a comprehensive tumor phenotyping and uncover the hidden facets of cancer biology.

Proteomic markers for pan-cancer profiling

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