Publications & Posters

Tumor Biomarker In-Solution Quantification, Standard Production, and Multiplex Detection

Journal of Immunology Research | September 1, 2021

Japp NC, Souchek JJ, Sasson AR, Hollingsworth MA, Batra SK and Junker WM

Journal of Immunology Research. 2021;2021:9942605


The diagnosis and monitoring of cancer have been facilitated by discovering tumor “biomarkers” and methods to detect their presence. Yet, for certain cancers, we still lack sensitive and specific biomarkers or the means to quantify subtle concentration changes successfully. The identification of new biomarkers of disease and improving the sensitivity of detection will remain key to changing clinical outcomes. Patient liquid biopsies (serum and plasma) are the most easily obtained sources for noninvasive analysis of proteins that tumor cells release directly and via extracellular microvesicles and tumor shedding. Therefore, an emphasis on creating reliable assays using serum/plasma and “direct, in-solution” ELISA approaches has built an industry centered on patient protein biomarker analysis. A need for improved dynamic range and automation has resulted in the application of ELISA principles to paramagnetic beads with chemiluminescent or fluorescent detection. In the clinical testing lab, chemiluminescent paramagnetic assays are run on automated machines that test a single analyte, minimize technical variation, and are not limited by serum sample volumes. This differs slightly from the R&D setting, where serum samples are often limiting; therefore, multiplexing antibodies to test multiple biomarkers in low serum volumes may be preferred. This review summarizes the development of historical biomarker “standards”, paramagnetic particle assay principles, chemiluminescent or fluorescent biomarker detection advancements, and multiplexing for sensitive detection of novel serum biomarkers.