Metastases from breast cancers have not yet reached curability mainly because of the continuous evolution of cancer cells leading to treatment resistance and tumor progression. Despite the identification of the main genomic drivers of breast cancer resistance, and the development of specific targeted therapies, resistance has not been eradicated. A deeper understanding of tumor biology underlying treatment escape and tumor progression is necessary to find new targets. The aim of this study was to determine whether mass spectrometry based imaging and microproteomics are able to capture changes in protein expression and pathways occurring during metastasis progression.
Ten tumor samples from five progressing metastatic breast cancer patients treated at Oscar Lambret Cancer Center (France) were selected based on the availability of paired metastasis biopsy performed at two time points during the evolution of the disease. The proteomic profiles of paired tumor samples were analyzed using MALDI mass spectrometry imaging combined with microproteomics, a spatially resolved proteomic technology.
Comparison of paired samples showed gain and loss of proteins associated with tumor progression. However, few were shared between patients. The pathways and biological processes mainly represented during tumor progression, and which were found in at least two patients, were those involved in the negative regulation of leukocyte mediated cytotoxicity, the metabolism of carboxilic acid, peptides and nucleosides, in response to stress, oxidation-reduction process, endocytosis, catabolic processes, actin regulation, and extracellular matrix organization. During metastasis evolution, few shared proteins were identified in at least 3 patients such as SRPX2, CILP1, collagen alpha-2(V) chain, Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1, filamin-C, PDZ and LIM domain protein 2 and chloride intracellular channel protein 4. The main proteins lost during progression and found in at least 2 patients were cell surface glycoprotein MUC18, collagen alpha-2(IV) chain, polyadenylate-binding protein 2, and latent-transforming growth factor beta-binding protein 4 (LTAGP4). Results from an expanded cohort will be presented at the meeting.
MALDI mass spectrometry proteomics identified private and shared changes in proteins and biological processes associated with breast cancer metastasis progression.
Citation Format: Hajjaji N, Aboulouard S, Robin YM, Bertin D, Fournier I, Bonneterre J, Salzet M. Proteomic tracking of breast cancer metastasis progression [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2018 Dec 4-8; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(4 Suppl):Abstract nr P3-08-19.