Using the proprietary Protagen SeroTag® technology, the discovery was made in close collaboration with Professor Helmut Klocker, Medical University of Innsbruck and Oncotyrol Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine, Innsbruck, and Professor Mark Rubin, Cornell University and Targos Molecular Pathology GmbH, Kassel.
Measuring serum autoantibodies in a liquid biopsy of prostate cancer patients, the team was able to successfully confirm tissue specific biomarkers via immunohistochemistry. Professor Klocker stated, “This is a novel route to new and more specific biomarkers to allow for better detection of prostate cancer inflammation. In cooperation with Protagen, we were not only able to identify new relevant prostate specific autoantigens, e.g. SPOP, SPAST, STX 18, but also show the orthogonal validation of this serum marker on tissue microarrays with our partners at Targos”. Professor Rubin added, ”We’ve been working on the role of SPOP and its mutations in prostate cancer for quite some time, it is really exciting to learn more about the links to the immune system and the appearance of SPOP specific autoantibodies in patient sera”.
“It is always a good cross validation, when two independent methods yield the same result. Validated biomarkers in immune oncology and other immune diseases are a valuable asset. We are very excited to work with Protagen together in this emerging field.”, commented Dr. Thomas Henkel, CEO of Targos. Stefan Müllner, CEO of Protagen added, “There’s an unmet diagnostic need in prostate cancer diagnostics, and the commercial value of novel, more reliable options that don’t involve biopsies and improve follow-up of patients are very attractive. I’m very pleased to state that the study published today in PLOS ONE (http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147739, Schlick et al., “Serum autoantibodies in chronic prostate inflammation in prostate cancer patients”) in collaboration with our partners underscores that SeroTag® technology can significantly speed up diagnostic developments. Furthermore, SPOP plays a key role in the function of E3 ubiquitin ligase, which is a novel and interesting pathway for therapeutic intervention in cancer. Thus, the data presented in this paper also introduce a novel concept for drug target identification for stratified therapy and personalized medicine.”