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Early detection and treatment of breast cancer by random peptide array in neuN transgenic mouse model

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer and currently the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. Patients’ five-year relative survival rate decreases from 99% to

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and currently the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. Patients’ five-year relative survival rate decreases from 99% to 25% when breast cancer is diagnosed late. Immune checkpoint blockage has shown to be a promising therapy to improve patients’ outcome in many other cancers. However, due to the lack of early diagnosis, the treatment is normally given in the later stages. An early diagnosis system for breast cancer could potentially revolutionize current treatment strategies, improve patients’ outcomes and even eradicate the disease. The current breast cancer diagnostic methods cannot meet this demand. A simple, effective, noninvasive and inexpensive early diagnostic technology is needed. Immunosignature technology leverages the power of the immune system to find cancer early. Antibodies targeting tumor antigens in the blood are probed on a high-throughput random peptide array and generate a specific binding pattern called the immunosignature.

In this dissertation, I propose a scenario for using immunosignature technology to detect breast cancer early and to implement an early treatment strategy by using the PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor. I develop a methodology to describe the early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in a FVB/N neuN breast cancer mouse model. By comparing FVB/N neuN transgenic mice and age-matched wild type controls, I have found and validated specific immunosignatures at multiple time points before tumors are palpable. Immunosignatures change along with tumor development. Using a late-stage immunosignature to predict early samples, or vice versa, cannot achieve high prediction performance. By using the immunosignature of early breast cancer, I show that at the time of diagnosis, early treatment with the checkpoint blockade, anti-PD-L1, inhibits tumor growth in FVB/N neuN transgenic mouse model. The mRNA analysis of the PD-L1 level in mice mammary glands suggests that it is more effective to have treatment early.

Novel discoveries are changing understanding of breast cancer and improving strategies in clinical treatment. Researchers and healthcare professionals are actively working in the early diagnosis and early treatment fields. This dissertation provides a step along the road for better diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Immunosignature of Alzheimer's disease

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The goal of this thesis is to test whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with distinctive humoral immune changes that can be detected in plasma and tracked across time. This

The goal of this thesis is to test whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with distinctive humoral immune changes that can be detected in plasma and tracked across time. This is relevant because AD is the principal cause of dementia, and yet, no specific diagnostic tests are universally employed in clinical practice to predict, diagnose or monitor disease progression. In particular, I describe herein a proteomic platform developed at the Center for Innovations in Medicine (CIM) consisting of a slide with 10.000 random-sequence peptides printed on its surface, which is used as the solid phase of an immunoassay where antibodies of interest are allowed to react and subsequently detected with a labeled secondary antibody. The pattern of antibody binding to the microarray is unique for each individual animal or person. This thesis will evaluate the versatility of the microarray platform and how it can be used to detect and characterize the binding patterns of antibodies relevant to the pathophysiology of AD as well as the plasma samples of animal models of AD and elderly humans with or without dementia. My specific aims were to evaluate the emergence and stability of immunosignature in mice with cerebral amyloidosis, and characterize the immunosignature of humans with AD. Plasma samples from APPswe/PSEN1-dE9 transgenic mice were evaluated longitudinally from 2 to 15 months of age to compare the evolving immunosignature with non-transgenic control mice. Immunological variation across different time-points was assessed, with particular emphasis on time of emergence of a characteristic pattern. In addition, plasma samples from AD patients and age-matched individuals without dementia were assayed on the peptide microarray and binding patterns were compared. It is hoped that these experiments will be the basis for a larger study of the diagnostic merits of the microarray-based immunoassay in dementia clinics.

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Date Created
  • 2011