Method of Detecting Low Abundance Circulating Extracellular Vesicles


Researchers at TGen have developed an improved method of detecting circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) in low abundance from a patient blood sample. These detected EVs may be used as biomarkers for cancer and other diseases in an early and non-invasive detection method.  For example, this method can be used for the detection of breast cancer specific proteins in a patient's blood, such as those associated with triple negative breast cancer, at a stage early enough to improve treatment outcomes.


Triple negative breast cancer is a complex disease accounting for 15-20% of all breast cancer cases with high molecular heterogeneity and a low survival rate relative to other breast cancers.  Liquid biopsies have been explored as a non-invasive method for detecting breast cancer specific proteins from circulating EVs, but such detection has been challenging due to the low abundance of breast cancer specific proteins in EVs (i.e., tumor EVs) compared to other EV proteins (e.g., immune cells).


Researchers at TGen have developed a liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method with increased sensitivity for detecting low abundance proteins derived from circulating EVs.  The developed method uses a labeled carrier proteome to amplify the signal of low abundance peptides and allows EV peptides to be distinguished from carrier peptides.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Katie Bray
Intellectual Property Counsel
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Patrick Pirrotte