Serum peptidomic biomarkers for pulmonary metastatic melanoma identified by means of a nanopore-based assay.
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The significant mortality rate associated with metastatic melanoma, which exceeds the number of deaths attributed to the primary tumor, is primarily due to poor diagnosis and increased resistance to systemic therapy. Early detection and treatment of invasive melanoma are therefore crucial to increase survival rates. Low molecular weight proteins and peptides have garnered significant interest as biomarker candidates as they potentially represent a snap shot of pathological condition within the body and, by extension, the organism as a whole. We have developed a nanoporous silica-based platform to segregate the low molecular weight from the high molecular weight protein fraction to aid in the detection of peptides from serum samples using mass spectrometry. The combination of sample treatment with our platform, MALDI-TOF MS and following biostatistical analysis led to the discovery and identification of 27 peptides that are potential biomarkers associated with the development of pulmonary metastatic melanoma. We strongly believe our findings can assist to discover stage-specific peptide signatures and lead to more specific and personalized treatments for patients suffering from pulmonary metastatic melanoma.