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Mol Oncol. 2007 Sep;1(2):216-25. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2007.06.001.

Low-volume, high-throughput sandwich immunoassays for profiling plasma proteins in mice: identification of early-stage systemic inflammation in a mouse model of intestinal cancer.

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Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA.


Mouse models of human cancers may provide a valuable resource for the discovery of cancer biomarkers. We have developed a practical strategy for profiling specific proteins in mouse plasma using low-volume sandwich-immunoassays. We used this method to profile the levels of 14 different cytokines, acute-phase reactants, and other cancer markers in plasma from a mouse models of intestinal tumors and their wild-type littermates, using as little as 1.5 microliters of diluted plasma per assay. Many of the proteins were significantly and consistently up-regulated in the mutant mice. The mutant mice could be distinguished nearly perfectly from the wild-type mice based on the combined levels of as few as three markers. Many of the proteins were up-regulated even in the mutant mice with few or no tumors, suggesting the presence of a systemic host response at an early stage of cancer development. These results have implications for the study of host responses in mouse models of cancers and demonstrate the value of a new low-volume, high-throughput sandwich-immunoassay method for sensitively profiling protein levels in cancer.

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