Scientists of ASU Anti-Cancer Center develop unique technology for early cancer detection based on phage display

3 December 2018 Department of Information and Media Communications

Scientists of the Russian-American Anti-Cancer Center at Altai State University are currently developing a unique technology for early diagnosis of cancer based on the phage display method.

“In our work, along with peptide microchips, we use phage display to identify peptides, which we can use in the diagnosis of oncological diseases, as well as for the development of therapeutic drugs,” Andrei I. Shapoval, head of the Russian-American Anti-Cancer Center at Altai State University, said. “The phage display method in chemistry began to develop about 30–35 years ago. With it, the scientists began to obtain antibodies that can fight autoimmune diseases and in some cases cure metastatic cancer. This year George Smith from the USA and Gregory Winter from Britain, who created and developed phage display technology, received the Nobel Prize for this method.”

Working with phage display technology, ASU scientists are engaged in the so-called high-performance sequencing, or sequencing of a new generation, that is, a method that allows you to "read" several sections of the genome and determine the amino acid sequences encoded in them. Evgenia A. Kolosova, the research officer of the Anti-Cancer Center, specializes in this field of study.

“Using phage display, we are trying to find peptides on the surface of bacteriophages interacting with antibodies in the blood serum of patients with breast cancer and healthy donors, which can be used in the future to diagnose the disease at an early stage,” Evgenia A. Kolosova specified. “We faced a difficult task, because previously no one used the sequencing of a new generation for bacteriophages, that is, viruses that infect bacterial cells, with such minimal sample preparation. The increase in the number of operations on the samples led to a number of errors and was reflected in the results of research. We have developed a method by which you can get a more accurate result."

Evgenia A. Kolosova has recently completed the sequencing of samples of bacteriophages that have been selected for serum of breast cancer and lung cancer, and now the results obtained are being processed.

“Soon we will find out which peptides on bacteriophages interact in a special way with serum antibodies of patients with breast cancer and lung cancer, unlike antibodies of a healthy donor. This will allow us to select specifically interacting peptides to further create a diagnostic system for determining breast cancer and lung cancer,” the young scientist explains. “Already existing test systems are mainly based on biomarkers, while we are working on the unique system for the early diagnosis of cancer. We have an individual approach to sample preparation, since we do not isolate DNA from bacteriophages and make a special approach to sequencing. All this is our scientific novelty.”

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