Development of a MUC1-based reference bioassay for a novel in vitro breast-cancer detection system

Breast cancer is with more than 1.3 million new cases per year the most common type of cancer in women worldwide. In contrast, men are only less than 1% affected by this disease. In addition to the generally used methods of breast-cancer diagnosis like palpation, mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and biopsy, there are only a few tools available which indicate (early) breast cancer on the molecular level of the disease like Theros H/ISM and MGISM (bioTheranostics), Mammaprint™ (Agendia) or Oncotype DX® (GenomicHealth).

The work presented here is part of the Interreg IV-A funded project MICROBIOMED (MICROtechnologies for BIOMEDical applications) and aims to develop a novel antibodybased in vitro breast-cancer detection system. Therefore we identified several breastcancer tumor markers described in the literature for the set-up of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based reference system. Additionally the Institute of Pathology of the University Hospital Aachen is searching for new breast-cancer specific biomarkers.

In this project, the tumor-marker MUC1 was used to establish a first proof-of-principle bioassay and a specific detection of cellular (breast) cancer specific MUC1 epitopes is presented. Finally the design will be transferred to the different biochip-platforms provided by the engineering partners.

Edited by : EMI, Daniel Segun