For research on specific types of cancer, large-scale analytical efforts
have provided novel insights into the association of chromosomal
rearrangements, DNA copy number alterations, somatic mutations, and
RNA splicing variants with cancer. All of this underscores the concept that
cancer is not one disease, but thousands of diseases.
In some ways, NextGen sequencing has provided too much information—
so much data that it is difficult to know what changes drive cancer, and
which changes are mere passengers on the road to cancer. Measuring the
proteins involved make it much easier to hone in on the changes that are
most influential in determining the outcome of the disease. This is especially
true of the post-translational modifications that switch proteins on and off,
such as phosphorylation, glycosylation, and acetylation.
Benchmarks and standards
Because proteins are central to how cancer happens in our bodies, the
National Cancer Institute established the Clinical Proteomic Technology
Assessment Consortium (CPTAC) in 2006 to establish a set of rigorous
and broadly recognized standards for the proper execution of proteomic
experiments in a clinical context. It also established a path to standards
of reproducibility and accuracy associated with clinical testing labs and
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification.
In short, CPTAC requires scientists to make sure their labs work from
the same playbook when it comes to understanding the activity of proteins
In another advance, mass spectrometry platforms, the workhorses of
proteomics, were benchmarked against a defined set of samples. That
resulted in two foundational reports demonstrating the reproducibility
and robustness of mass spectrometry measurements across multiple
Karin Rodland, Ph.D., in her lab at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
LASER 2017 MUNICH JUNE 26-29
HALL B3 BOOTH 303
THE HIGHEST PERFORMANCE OPTICAL COATINGS AND FILTERS