Identification and validation of a potential lung cancer serum biomarker detected by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight spectra analysis.
Many abnormalities detected in the thorax by routine conventional imaging studies are benign, yet all require further evaluation because of the concern for cancer. To address this deficiency and develop a serum biomarker for lung cancer, we designed a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) based platform to display the proteins present in the serum of patients with or without lung cancer, and then challenged the scientific community to analyze these data with the aim of determining specific ion signal differences among the resulting spectra. The most statistically significant ion peak identified by the various analysis algorithms that differentiated the serum of patients with lung cancer from the serum of individuals without lung cancer was found at m/z 11,702. We identified the protein responsible for this ion peak as serum amyloid A (SAA; M(r) = 11,682.7) by partial purification followed by in-gel digestion and peptide mapping. By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we showed SAA to be present at 286 ng/mL in the serum of cancer patients vs. 34.1 ng/mL in the serum of individuals without cancer. These data suggest that the combination of MALDI-TOF MS and computer analysis can be a powerful tool in the search for serum biomarkers of lung cancer and other diseases.
Howard, BA; Wang, MZ; Campa, MJ; Corro, C; Fitzgerald, MC; Patz, EF
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