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Dis Markers. 2001;17(4):301-7.

Proteomic patterns of nipple aspirate fluids obtained by SELDI-TOF: potential for new biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

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Tissue Proteomics Unit, Division of Therapeutic Proteins, CBER, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) has been used for many years as a potential non-invasive method to identify markers for breast cancer risk or early detection. Because individual markers have not been optimal, we are exploring the use of surface enhanced laser desorption and ionization time of flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry to identify patterns of proteins that might define a proteomic signature for breast cancer. SELDI-TOF was used to analyze a study set of NAF samples that included 12 women with breast cancer and 15 healthy controls (the latter included three women with an abnormal mammogram but subsequent normal biopsy). In this preliminary report, we present data showing that SELDI analysis of NAF is rapid, reproducible, and capable of identifying protein signatures that appear to differentiate NAF samples from breast cancer patients and healthy controls, including those with an abnormal mammogram who were later proven to be biopsy normal.

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