Background Prolonged angiogenesis inhibition may improve treatment outcome in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. However, due to the complexity of the angiogenic pathways there is a lack of valid predictive biomarkers for anti-angiogenic agents. Here, we describe and optimize a procedure for simultaneous dynamic profiling of multiple angiogenesis related proteins in patient serum to explore associations with the response and acquired resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy. Materials and methods Patients (n=22) were selected from a clinical trial investigating maintenance treatment with bevacizumab alone after response to induction chemotherapy + bevacizumab in mCRC. Serum samples were analysed for 55 unique angiogenesis related proteins using a commercial proteome profiler array and a publicly available image analysis program for quantification. Samples were collected at baseline before induction treatment start, at start of maintenance treatment, and at end of treatment after tumour progression. Main results and conclusion For eight proteins, the antibody array signals were below detection range in all patient samples. None of the proteins showed levels at baseline or at start of maintenance with strong evidence for correlation to time to progression (lowest nominal p-value 0.03). The dynamic ranges of protein levels measured during the induction treatment period and during the maintenance period were analysed separately for time trends. Evidence for changing trends (up/down) in the levels of MMP-8, TIMP-4 and EGF was observed both during response to induction treatment and at progressive disease, respectively. For three of the proteins (IL-8, Activin A and IGFBP-2), weak evidence for correlation between increasing protein levels during induction with chemotherapy and bevacizumab and time to progression was observed. In conclusion, semi-quantitative profiling of angiogenesis related proteins in patient serum may be a versatile tool to screen for protein patterns aiming at identifying resistance mechanisms of anti-angiogenic treatment in patients with mCRC.
- Klinisk laboratoriemedicin
- Cancer och onkologi