Protein Signature: Discriminating Common Adenocarcinomas

  • Cancer management stems from initial classification of the patient’s tumor.
  • It is often difficult to identify the tissue site-of-origin of a metastatic cancer when no primary tumor has been identified, and few markers have been identified that allow such classification.
  • Scientists at Moffitt Cancer Center have developed a protein-based classification system that discriminates six common types of adenocarcinoma.


  • The classifier is based on global protein approach using two=dimensional gels for fractionation, enabling a thorough identification of reliable markers by mass spectrometry.
  • Tumor samples were 77 human tumors from primary sites, improving the accuracy of the signature.
  • Six common tumors were studied: ovary, breast, colon, kidney, lung and stomach.
  • 173 proteins in the signature were found unique to individual tumor types, representing candidate tumor biomarkers for each type.
  • The proteomics signature can be applied using other protein fractionation and detection methods.


  • G. Bloom et al. (2006) Int. J. Cancer 120:769-775.
  • Patent application pending.


Haskell Adler PhD MBA CLP
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