Data-Independent Acquisition Mass Spectrometry Analysis of FFPE Rectal Cancer Samples Offers In-Depth Proteomics Characterization of the Response to Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy.


Locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) presents a challenge in identifying molecular markers linked to the response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT). This study aimed to utilize a sensitive proteomic method, data-independent mass spectrometry (DIA-MS), to extensively analyze the LARC proteome, seeking individuals with favorable initial responses suitable for a watch-and-wait approach. This research addresses the unmet need to understand the response to treatment, potentially guiding personalized strategies for LARC patients. Post-treatment assessment included MRI scans and proctoscopy. This research involved 97 LARC patients treated with intense chemoradiotherapy, comprising radiation and chemotherapy. Out of 97 LARC included in this study, we selected 20 samples with the most different responses to nCRT for proteome profiling (responders vs. non-responders). This proteomic approach shows extensive proteome coverage in LARC samples. The analysis identified a significant number of proteins compared to a prior study. A total of 915 proteins exhibited differential expression between the two groups, with certain signaling pathways associated with response mechanisms, while top candidates had good predictive potential. Proteins encoded by genes SMPDL3A, PCTP, LGMN, SYNJ2, NHLRC3, GLB1, and RAB43 showed high predictive potential of unfavorable treatment outcome, while RPA2, SARNP, PCBP2, SF3B2, HNRNPF, RBBP4, MAGOHB, DUT, ERG28, and BUB3 were good predictive biomarkers of favorable treatment outcome. The identified proteins and related biological processes provide promising insights that could enhance the management and care of LARC patients.

More about this publication

International journal of molecular sciences
  • Volume 24
  • Issue nr. 20
  • Publication date 21-10-2023

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