Two critical, unmet needs in breast cancer are the early detection of cancer metastasis and recurrence, and the sensitive assessment of temporal changes in tumor burden in response to therapy. The present research is directed towards developing a non-invasive, ultrasensitive and specific tool that provides a comprehensive real-time picture of the metastatic tumor burden and provides a radically new route to address these overarching challenges. As the continuing search for better diagnostic and prognostic clues has shifted away from a singular focus on primary tumor lesions, circulating and disseminated biomarkers have surfaced as attractive candidates due to the intrinsic advantages of a non-invasive, repeatable “liquid biopsy” procedure. However, a reproducible, facile blood-based test for diagnosis and follow-up of breast cancer has yet to be incorporated into a clinical laboratory assay due to the limitations of existing assays in terms of sensitivity, extensive sample processing requirements and, importantly, multiplexing capability. Here, by architecting nano-structured probes for detection of specific molecular species, we engineer a novel plasmon-enhanced Raman spectroscopic platform that offers a paradigmatic shift from the capabilities of today’s diagnostic test platforms. Specifically, quantitative single-droplet serum tests reveal ultrasensitive and multiplexed detection of three key breast cancer biomarkers, cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3), CA27-29 and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), over several order of magnitude range of biomarker concentration and clear segmentation of the sera between normal and metastatic cancer levels.
Ishan Barman and Ming Li, "Harnessing Raman spectroimmunoassay for detection of serological breast cancer markers (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10077, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XIV, 100770N (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252959.5381802522001.
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