Sonia Lopez
Sonia Lopez
Sonia Lopez
Helios Scholar
School: Arizona State University
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Mentor: Patrick Pirrotte, Ph.D.
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Increasing Sensitivity of Detecting Circulating Extracellular Vesicle Biomarkers in Liquid Biopsies

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer (BC) and accounts for 15-20% of BC cases. The five-year survival rates for individuals with TNBC are lower compared to other BC subtypes. However, early and improved detection of BC has contributed to better treatment outcomes and lower BC mortality. Conventional screening methods include mammography and tissue biopsies. Recently, liquid biopsies are being explored as a non-invasive method for detecting BC from patients’ blood samples using circulating extracellular vesicles (EV) as a source of biomarkers. A challenge in detecting cancer-specific proteins in EVs is their relative low abundance compared to other EV proteins from healthy tissue. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to increase the sensitivity thresholds of liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to detect low abundance EV proteins in the murine TNBC cell line model E0771.LMB. Thus, we devised a novel method which can be further developed and adapted to detect low abundance protein biomarkers in other cancers and provide crucial information for the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.