Kristi A Egland Lab
Early and personalized diagnosis for breast cancer patients is crucial for optimizing treatments leading to long-term survival. It has been previously shown that cancer proteins can elicit an immune response in patients. These autoantibodies recognize tumor-associated antigens (TAA), autologous cellular proteins that are mutated, modified or aberrantly expressed in tumor cells. Because anti-TAA antibodies reflect and amplify the cellular changes associated with tumorigenesis, detection of anti-TAA antibodies in the sera of breast cancer patients may provide a non-invasive mechanism for the early detection of breast cancer.
We took a molecular approach to identify potential tumor antigens that elicit an antibody response in breast cancer patients by generating a cDNA library (MAPcL) enriched with genes encoding membrane and secreted proteins, which are more likely to induce an antibody response in patients compared to intracellular proteins. Our laboratory has established an expression strategy to generate MAPcL Fc-fusion proteins that retain their native conformation and are efficiently recognized by patients’ antibodies. The long-term goal of my laboratory is to develop a blood test for breast cancer based on detecting a patient’s antibodies generated against cancer proteins. In addition, we have selected previously uncharacterized MAPcL genes that encode proteins overexpressed in breast cancers but have restricted expression in the normal essential organs, and we are characterizing the role of these MAPcL proteins in breast tumorigenesis.
Contact Information for Egland Lab:
Kristi A. Egland, PhD