Vive la différence! To pool or not to pool…

In a previous post on whether samples should be pooled or not for proteomic profiling, we discussed this approach, which can be quite cost-wise, while still allowing to see the main biomarkers differentiating one physiological condition from another (e.g. disease vs healthy control).

In real life, however, this discrimination between physiological conditions may be difficult to define. Let’s take, for example, a study aimed at studying the differential immune response to an infection, and how this can be used to design more efficient therapies in different population subgroups. [Read more…]

The gold rush for better diagnostics

Back in the XIXth century, tens of thousands of people rushed to California to find gold and become rich. Most of them did not succeed, but those who did, really did (especially the companies owning the mines). Something similar happens with diagnostic kits nowadays. The trend is towards more personalised medicine, either at the diagnosis step, or at the therapeutical step. Newly marketed drugs include companion diagnostics, development of new diagnostics is increasing, and the need for accurate results is more important than ever. One size does not fit all.

[Read more…]

Pooling samples for proteomics – biomarker profiling case studies

To pool or not to pool biological samples? This question might pop up in the mind of anyone designing biomarker discovery approaches!

Much debate has been raised on biomarker discovery from clinical cohort studies, since the first experiments linking SNPs to disease phenotypes, to the current and new proteomic and miRNA technologies. The answer to this question strictly depends on clinical data, patient group characteristics and… financial means.

[Read more…]

A new dimension in biomarker profiling: miRNA 3D-arrays by TORAY

Blood sample

Circulating miRNA from blood

miRNA are implicated in a number of diseases and cancers. Despite the fact that their different roles in physiological and pathological cell processes are still under investigation, there is already more and more interest in considering them as future key diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Indeed, they are conveniently present in blood, and furthermore, their small size makes them relatively robust compared to messenger RNAs. They are well conserved into poor quality samples such as FFPE samples allowing the best hopes when exploring biobanks of tissues.

Accurate and convenient technologies aimed at profiling miRNA expression from such biobanks and blood opens up a promising era in biomarker discovery for personalized healthcare.
But still, we need to find an efficient profiling approach to cover the full miRnome that contains about 2000 Human miRNA… [Read more…]