Proteome Sciences said this week that the company has in collaboration with researchers at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust identified and validated protein biomarkers for patient stratification in liver cancer.
Detailed in a paper published this week in EuPa Open Proteomics, the work used Proteome Sciences' mass spec-based proteomics services to identify markers for distinguishing between hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.
The two conditions require different treatments, but are currently difficult to tell apart based on histological analysis, Ian Pike, chief operating officer of Proteome Sciences, told ProteoMonitor. "So what is really needed are some molecular markers that can highlight the specific regions that are hepatocellular or cholangiocellular to identify if a tumor is one or the other or a mix."
In collaboration with Kings College researcher Nigel Heaton, the company analyzed 55 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, identifying a panel of five proteins that distinguished between the two conditions, two of which they validated in 10 samples using immunohistochemistry, finding that they were diagnostic in seven of those 10.
Proteome Sciences and the Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have filed patents covering the markers. The next step, Pike said, "is a larger scale validation in retrospective samples."
In terms of commercialization, the company aims ultimately to license the markers to a firm in the IHC space, he said.