Expression Pathology Inc. (EPI) will collaborate with the Alberta Cancer Board, Tom Baker Cancer Centre (Calgary, Alberta) to identify protein biomarkers of breast cancer metastasis. The project is funded by a $300,000 CAD grant from the Alberta Cancer Board and Foundation, a leading funding body for collaborative cancer research in Alberta.
EPI will employ its proprietary tissue proteomics technologies to study archived formalin-fixed breast cancer tissue samples from patients treated at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. EPI’s Liquid Tissue® sample preparation and Director™ laser microdissection will enable in-depth mass spectrometry analysis of tissue samples that have detailed pathology and clinical outcome data.
Over 200,000 cases of early-stage breast cancer present for treatment decisions each year in North America. Proteins make up the molecular pathways which control cell functions and are the targets of drug action. This protein-based approach may yield valuable tissue biomarkers of breast cancer metastasis as well as potential new cancer drug targets.
“Assessment of the state of metastasis of breast cancer patients is key to optimal treatment decisions,” says Dr. Anthony Magliocco, Director of Pathology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and Associate Professor of Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Calgary. “Our project with EPI will strive to identify proteins in primary tumor tissue that may serve as biomarkers of the early stages of metastasis at the molecular level.”
“This project is exactly how we see our proprietary tissue proteomics research platform being used, to understand at the protein level the progression of metastasis in early-stage breast cancer,” says Casimir Eitner, EPI’s President and CEO.
“Our aim is to develop valuable tissue protein assays that can aid patient treatment decisions and to identify new therapeutic targets and companion diagnostics to those targets. We greatly appreciate the Alberta Cancer Board’s support of this innovative initiative and recognition of the value of our company’s technology,” Eitner says.