Exploiting heat shock protein expression to develop a non-invasive diagnostic tool for breast cancer.
Leveraging the unique surface expression of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) in breast cancer provides an exciting opportunity to develop rapid diagnostic tests at the point-of-care setting. Hsp90 has previously been shown to have elevated expression levels across all breast cancer receptor subtypes. We have developed a non-destructive strategy using HS-27, a fluorescently-tethered Hsp90 inhibitor, to assay surface Hsp90 expression on intact tissue specimens and validated our approach in clinical samples from breast cancer patients across estrogen receptor positive, Her2-overexpressing, and triple negative receptor subtypes. Utilizing a pre-clinical biopsy model, we optimized three imaging parameters that may affect the specificity of HS-27 based diagnostics - time between tissue excision and staining, agent incubation time, and agent dose, and translated our strategy to clinical breast cancer samples. Findings indicated that HS-27 florescence was highest in tumor tissue, followed by benign tissue, and finally followed by mammoplasty negative control samples. Interestingly, fluorescence in tumor samples was highest in Her2+ and triple negative subtypes, and inversely correlated with the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes indicating that HS-27 fluorescence increases in aggressive breast cancer phenotypes. Development of a Gaussian support vector machine classifier based on HS-27 fluorescence features resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 82% and 100% respectively when classifying tumor and benign conditions, setting the stage for rapid and automated tissue diagnosis at the point-of-care.
Crouch, BT; Gallagher, J; Wang, R; Duer, J; Hall, A; Soo, MS; Hughes, P; Haystead, T; Ramanujam, N
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