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Assays without Borders

CPTAC researchers, partner with international labs to demonstrate the ability of targeted mass spectrometry–based assays to reproducibly quantify human proteins across labs, countries and continents in a recently published journal article. In a landmark paper appearing in the Dec. 8 advance online edition of Nature Methods, researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of both the development and application of targeted mass-spectrometry-based standardized assays (multiple reaction monitoring) to reproducibly measure human proteins in breast cancer cell lysate across 3 labs, 2 countries and 2 continents.

The international research collaboration, representing investigators from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, Washington USA), Broad Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), and a team composed of researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology and the Seoul National University College of Medicine (both Seoul, South Korea), reported the development and application of 645 assays representing 319 proteins. The assays were deployed in multiplexed fashion in groups of at least 150 peptides to quantify proteins in a panel of breast cancer-related cell lines.

The study implementation at different location was settled upon to determine the reproducibility and transferability of mass spectrometry–based proteomic diagnostic assays on an international scale. Researchers were able to show that targeted mass spectrometry–based proteomic assay can be easily implemented anywhere, with minimal adjustments, while maintaining a high level of performance (accuracy, precision and reproducibility) – all essential for clinical implementation. Analyses of the results were able to recapitulate known molecular subtypes ascribed to breast cancer and also showed the added value of integrative analysis in identifying putative disease genes. This study demonstrates the tremendous promise on targeted proteomics to meet the interest of biologists and medical researchers, and addresses the ability to replicate results from labs.  

More recently, NCI (through it's Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research) has established a memorandum of understanding with Seoul National University Cancer Hospital that will further test CPTAC's targeted proteomic technologies, workflows, and biomarker candidates in an active clinical research laboratory. This new partnership complements the memorandum of understanding between the NCI (Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research) and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. The research was funded in part through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

For more information about the publication and the research teams visit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.