Extracellular Vesicle Tracking using surface proteins and Resonance Assays to detect breast Cancer in Early stage (EV-TRACE)
Early detection reduces cancer-related deaths because time is a matter of life and death for a cancer victim. Diagnostic screening tests must be sensitive, specific, inexpensive, non-invasive and provide sufficient lead-time. Single markers typically lack sensitivity and specificity. Extracellular Vesicles (EV) in liquid biopsies hold promise in the non-invasive detection of cancer because their molecular content (proteins, nucleic acids) is a fingerprint of the releasing cells and their status. To fully exploit the diagnostic potential of EV, it is critical to develop standardized operating procedures and identify tools to enrich cancer-specific EV. To this end, surface markers that enhance the isolation of cancer-specific EV need to be identified; and affordable and scalable technologies for the reliable and efficient capture of EV of all size ranges need to be developed.
Objectives: We will:
1) Develop a high value biobank and standard operating procedures (SOP); 2) Identify cancer specific EV surface proteins to select candidate biomarkers; 3) Generate cancer EV selective antibodies; 4) Develop and validate biosensors for ultrasensitive cancer EV detection.
By implementing the biobank and SOP developed in the standardization track, the biomarker track will search for cancer specific EV surface proteins. The antibody track will develop antibodies targeting EV surface proteins for biosensor EV profiling in the technology track. This knowledge will be integrated in the validation track and the performance of the platform will be assessed with the ultimate goal to improve early cancer detection.