Monday, December 30, 2013

Proteome screening of pleural effusions identifies galectin 1 as a diagnostic biomarker and highlights several prognostic biomarkers for malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that starts in the protective lining around your organs.  Since the massive removal of asbestos in North America over the last 20 years or so, we rarely hear about this cancer now, as it was the major cause.  Asbestos was pretty useful stuff and since removal is expensive, there are lots of places where this cancer is still a big deal.  Unfortunately, there aren't good biomarkers for clinical assays.

Until now!  In this study, a team of Swedish researchers in conjunction with a medical institute in Turkey track down a series of good biomarkers for this nasty disease.  The experimental method was simple.  They used iTRAQ 8-plex to label (top-14 depleted) pleural fluid from Turkish patients with various lung conditions.  They used hi-resolution isoelectric focusing (see, the OFFGEL isn't dead!) to pre-fractionate the samples before running them on an Orbitrap Velos. 

Note on the method:  The method employed is one that could be considered suboptimal.  There are several places where the fill times and method could be tweaked to improve the theoretical peptide coverage and quantitative accuracy.  For current recommendations on running iTRAQ samples on an Orbitrap Velos, please see the Orbitrap methods database in the right hand of this page.

The results here, however, are extremely nice.  Multiple biomarkers were identified and validated with statistical significance which can only lead to an improvement in the correct profiling of the patients afflicted with these diseases.

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