Research Papers:

Fibronectin on circulating extracellular vesicles as a liquid biopsy to detect breast cancer

Pyong-Gon Moon, Jeong-Eun Lee, Young-Eun Cho, Soo Jung Lee, Yee Soo Chae, Jin Hyang Jung, In-San Kim, Ho Yong Park and Moon-Chang Baek _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:40189-40199. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9561

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Pyong-Gon Moon1, Jeong-Eun Lee1, Young-Eun Cho1, Soo Jung Lee2, Yee Soo Chae2, Jin Hyang Jung3, In-San Kim4, Ho Yong Park3, Moon-Chang Baek1

1Department of Molecular Medicine, Cell and Matrix Research Institute, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 700-422, Republic of Korea

2Department of Oncology/Hematology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu 700-721, Republic of Korea

3Department of Breast & Thyroid Surgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu 700-721, Republic of Korea

4Center for Theragnosis, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, KU-KIST School, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Moon-Chang Baek, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, diagnosis, extracellular vesicle, ELISA

Received: September 15, 2015     Accepted: May 02, 2016     Published: May 23, 2016


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted from cancer cells have potential for generating cancer biomarker signatures. Fibronectin (FN) was selected as a biomarker candidate, due to the presence in surface on EVs secreted from human breast cancer cell lines. A subsequent study used two types of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine the presence of these proteins in plasma samples from disease-free individuals (n=70), patients with BC (n=240), BC patients after surgical resection (n=40), patients with benign breast tumor (n=55), and patients with non-cancerous diseases (thyroiditis, gastritis, hepatitis B, and rheumatoid arthritis; n=80). FN levels were significantly elevated (p< .0001) at all stages of BC, and returned to normal after tumor removal. The diagnostic accuracy for FN detection in extracellular vesicles (ELISA method 1) (area under the curve, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.86; sensitivity of 65.1% and specificity of 83.2%) were also better than those for FN detection in the plasma (ELISA method 2) (area under the curve, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.83; sensitivity of 69.2% and specificity of 73.3%) in BC. The diagnostic accuracy of plasma FN was similar in both the early-stage BC and all BC patients, as well as in the two sets. This liquid biopsy to detect FN on circulating EVs could be a promising method to detect early breast cancer.

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