Integrated Cancer Research Center Seminar

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"Protease Signatures in Cancer Diagnostics"

Stefan H. Bossmann, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry

Terry C. Johnson Cancer Center
The Midwestern Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biology
Kansas State University
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
Honorary Distinguished Professor, Kunming University, Kunming, China

Numerous proteases are involved in cancer development and progression including Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs), Tissue Serine Proteases, and Cathepsins. We have designed nanoplatforms consisting of fluorescent dyes that are attached to Fe/Fe3O4 nanoparticles via consensus sequences. Their detection limits when using fluorescence plate reader technology are in the sub-femtomolar range. Based on the expression pattern of up to 20 proteases, we were able to:

  • Detect early lung and breast cancers (stage 1) in blood serum. 
  • Discern sub-groups in Triple Negative Cancer
  • Characterize tissue samples from mastectomies
  • Observe post-operative effects in protease expression pattern

Based on our recent findings, there is emerging evidence that different cancers feature various "protease signatures," meaning that the levels of protease over-expression will differ, depending on the origin and stage of cancer. This permits the diagnosis of various solid tumors at their specific stages.



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