Serum proteome analysis for profiling protein markers associated with carcinogenesis and lymph node metastasis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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Abstract

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), one of the most common cancers in population with Chinese or Asian progeny, poses a serious health problem for southern China. It is unfortunate that most NPC victims have had lymph node metastasis (LNM) when first diagnosed. We believe that the 2D based serum proteome analysis can be useful in discovering new biomarkers that may aid in the diagnosis and therapy of NPC patients. To filter the tumor specific antigen markers of NPC, sera from 42 healthy volunteers, 27 non-LNM NPC patients and 37 LNM NPC patients were selected for screening study using 2D combined with MS. Pretreatment strategy, including sonication, albumin and immunoglobulin G (IgG) depletion, was adopted for screening differentially expressed proteins of low abundance in serum. By 2D image analysis and MALDI-TOF-MS identification, twenty-three protein spots were differentially expressed. Three of them were further validated in the sera using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Our research demonstrates that HSP70, sICAM-1 and SAA, confirmed with ELISA at sera and immunohistochemistry, are potential NPC metastasis-specific serum biomarkers which may be of great underlying significance in clinical detection and management of NPC.

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