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Early diagnosis of gliomas by using a novel multiplexed serum proteomic technology

Principal Investigator:
  • Eleftherios Diamandis, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Team Members:
  • Douglas Fraser, Children’s Health Research Institute
  • Maxime Richer, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Project Overview

Need for project: Gliomas are among the most malignant tumors, with very poor survival rates. Early diagnosis is highly desirable since it can facilitate more effective treatments of small tumors, which have not as yet extensively metastasized. It is thus of upmost importance to find non-invasive biomarkers of early glioma detection, in patients with suspicious but non-specific symptoms. These biomarkers may contribute to better patient diagnosis, management and fortunately, longer survival.

Goal of project: We will perform in-depth proteomic analysis of >1,200 serum proteins with a novel technology which has very high multiplexing, outstanding sensitivity (low pg/mL), specificity and excellent dynamic range (>10 orders). We hope that by screening serum at the time of glioma diagnosis, we will identify a few proteins which are informative of glioma presence, thus facilitating earlier detection. We will use artificial intelligence to interpret the generated rich datasets (>100,000 measurements).

Project description: This collaboration between the U. of Toronto, Sherbrooke and Western Ontario. Dr. Richer will provide sera from patients diagnosed with glioma before therapy. Diamandis will analyze samples with OLINK Technology; a PCR based assay that is extremely sensitive and specific. An artificial intelligence algorithm will be developed to separate patients with gliomas vs. controls (Fraser). This method can be used for earlier diagnosis of gliomas, thus facilitating better treatments.

Future impact: If our investigation is successful, we will be able to have a screening method for patients with suspicion for glioma, which is non-invasive, cost effective vs. imaging and immediately available. This test could be useful to triage symptomatic patients who may undergo additional MRI/imaging explorations. By applying this test, we hope to achieve earlier diagnosis of gliomas and facilitate earlier and more effective treatments, when the tumors are smaller, more sensitive and have not as yet extensively metastasized.