Research Papers:

Innovative methodology for the identification of soluble biomarkers in fresh tissues

Brunella Costanza, Andrei Turtoi, Akeila Bellahcène, Touko Hirano, Olivier Peulen, Arnaud Blomme, Vincent Hennequière, Eugene Mutijima, Jacques Boniver, Marie-Alice Meuwis, Claire Josse, Benjamin Koopmansch, Karin Segers, Takehiko Yokobori, Karim Fahmy, Marc Thiry, Carla Coimbra, Nancy Garbacki, Alain Colige, Dominique Baiwir, Vincent Bours, Edouard Louis, Olivier Detry, Philippe Delvenne, Masahiko Nishiyama and Vincent Castronovo _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:10665-10680. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24366

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Brunella Costanza1,*, Andrei Turtoi1,*, Akeila Bellahcène1, Touko Hirano2, Olivier Peulen1, Arnaud Blomme1, Vincent Hennequière1, Eugene Mutijima3, Jacques Boniver3, Marie-Alice Meuwis4, Claire Josse5, Benjamin Koopmansch5, Karin Segers5, Takehiko Yokobori6, Karim Fahmy1, Marc Thiry7, Carla Coimbra8, Nancy Garbacki9, Alain Colige9, Dominique Baiwir10,11, Vincent Bours5, Edouard Louis4, Olivier Detry8, Philippe Delvenne3, Masahiko Nishiyama6,12 and Vincent Castronovo1

1Metastasis Research Laboratory, GIGA Cancer, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

2Laboratory for Analytical Instruments, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma, Japan

3Department of Pathology, University Hospital (CHU), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

4Gastroenterology Department, University Hospital (CHU), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

5Center for Human Genetic, Molecular Haemato-Oncology Unit, UniLab, University Hospital (CHU), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

6Division of Integrated Oncology Research, Research Program for Omics-based Medical Science, Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research, Gunma, Japan

7Laboratory of Cell Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

8Department of Abdominal Surgery, University Hospital (CHU), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

9Laboratory of Connective Tissues Biology, GIGA-Cancer, University Hospital, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

10Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

11GIGA Proteomics Facility, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

12Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Oncology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma, Japan

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Vincent Castronovo, email: [email protected]

Keywords: biomarkers; proteomic; miRNAs; tDNA; metabolomic

Received: August 05, 2017    Accepted: January 19, 2018    Published: January 31, 2018


The identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers from early lesions, measurable in liquid biopsies remains a major challenge, particularly in oncology. Fresh human material of high quality is required for biomarker discovery but is often not available when it is totally required for clinical pathology investigation. Hence, all OMICs studies are done on residual and less clinically relevant biological samples. Here after, we present an innovative, simple, and non-destructive, procedure named EXPEL that uses rapid, pressure-assisted, interstitial fluid extrusion, preserving the specimen for full routine clinical pathology investigation. In the meantime, the technique allows a comprehensive OMICs analysis (proteins, metabolites, miRNAs and DNA). As proof of concept, we have applied EXPEL on freshly collected human colorectal cancer and liver metastases tissues. We demonstrate that the procedure efficiently allows the extraction, within a few minutes, of a wide variety of biomolecules holding diagnostic and prognostic potential while keeping both tissue morphology and antigenicity unaltered. Our method enables, for the first time, both clinicians and scientists to explore identical clinical material regardless of its origin and size, which has a major positive impact on translation to the clinic.

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