Ultra-sensitive protein detection via Single Molecule Arrays towards early stage cancer monitoring

June 8, 2015

Stephanie Schubert et al.,
Scientific Reports
doi:10.1038/srep11034

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Abstract:

The early diagnosis of cancers and continued monitoring of tumor growth would be greatly facilitated by the development of a blood-based, non-invasive, screening technique for early cancer detection. Current technologies for cancer screening and detection typically rely on imaging techniques or blood tests that are not accurate or sensitive enough to definitively diagnose cancer at its earliest stages or predict biologic outcomes. By utilizing Single Molecule Arrays (SiMoA), an ultra-sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique, we were able to measure increasing levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) within murine serum over time, which we attribute to tumor development. The measured concentrations of PSA were well below the detectable limits of both a leading clinical diagnostic PSA ELISA assay as well as a commercial ultra-sensitive PSA assay. Our work benchmarks the role of SiMoA as a vital tool in monitoring previously non-detectable protein biomarkers in serum for early cancer detection and offers significant potential as a non-invasive platform for the monitoring of early stage cancer.