Theranostics 2015; 5(1):62-70. doi:10.7150/thno.10145

Research Paper

An Array-Based Approach to Determine Different Subtype and Differentiation of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Chao Li1*, Yucai Yang2*, Luming Wei1, Xiaoying Wang3, Zhaoxia Wang2✉, Yongmei Yin3✉, Genxi Li1✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Department of Biochemistry,Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
2. Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210011, China
3. Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
* These two authors contributed equally.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Li C, Yang Y, Wei L, Wang X, Wang Z, Yin Y, Li G. An Array-Based Approach to Determine Different Subtype and Differentiation of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Theranostics 2015; 5(1):62-70. doi:10.7150/thno.10145. Available from

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Simple and accurate methods of discriminating subtype or differentiation of human tumor are critical for designing treatment strategies and predicting disease prognosis, and the currently used method to determine the two important factors mainly depends on histological examination by microscopy observation, which is laborious, highly trained operator required, and prone to be disruptive due to individual-to-individual judgment. Here we report a novel array-based method based on the interaction of graphene oxide (GO) and single-strand DNA modified gold nanoparticles (ssDNA-AuNPs) to distinguish between different subtypes and grades of tumors through their overall intracellular proteome signatures. Strategically, we first select eight proteins at 0.5 nM concentration in buffer or 10 nM in human serum to verify the discriminant ability of our method, then choose adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma that account for 90% non-small cell lung cancer, as well as their respective three tumor grades as model system to provide a realistic testing ground for clinical cancer analysis. Consequently, total differentiation between different subtype and grade of tumor tissues has been achieved with as little as 100 ng of intracellular protein, suggesting the high sensitivity and selectivity of this sensor array. Overall, this array-based approach may provide the possibility for unbiased and simplified personalized tumor classification diagnostics in the future.

Keywords: array-based sensor, gold nanoparticle, graphene, protein classification, tumor tiusse