Journal: Nature Communications
Affiliations: 9Go to article
Teasing out tags for cancer
A new screening technique has been used to identify mutated proteins on the surface of cancer cells, raising the possibility of developing personalized immunotherapy treatments.
An international team, including researchers at the Technical University of Munich, used a new high-resolution mass spectrometry technique to characterize nearly 100,000 proteins extracted from the tumours of 25 melanoma patients. By using advanced bioinformatics to analyze the list along with sequencing data from five of the patients, the researchers identified 11 mutated proteins found on the surface of the cancerous cells.
The team successfully stimulated the patient’s white blood cells to recognize the mutant proteins on the surface of tumour cells and attack them, demonstrating the viability of this approach for developing new treatments. While the technique’s limited sensitivity meant only a handful of mutant proteins were identified, the researchers anticipate that advances in spectrometry and new algorithms will improve its performance.
- Nature Communications 7,13404 (2017). doi: 10.1038/ncomms.13404