Discovery and Evaluation of Protein Biomarkers as a Signature of Wellness in Late-Stage Cancer Patients in Early Phase Clinical Trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Erin Peat
  • Sarah Dransfield
  • Fiona Thistlethwaite
  • Donna Graham
  • Andrew Hughes


TARGET (tumour characterisation to guide experimental targeted therapy) is a cancer precision medicine programme focused on molecular characterisation of patients entering early phase clinical trials. Performance status (PS) measures a patient's ability to perform a variety of activities. However, the quality of present algorithms to assess PS is limited and based on qualitative clinician assessment. Plasma samples from patients enrolled into TARGET were analysed using the mass spectrometry (MS) technique: sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra (SWATH)-MS. SWATH-MS was used on a discovery cohort of 55 patients to differentiate patients into either a good or poor prognosis by creation of a Wellness Score (WS) that showed stronger prediction of overall survival (p = 0.000551) compared to PS (p = 0.001). WS was then tested against a validation cohort of 77 patients showing significant (p = 0.000451) prediction of overall survival. WS in both sets had receiver operating characteristic curve area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.76 (p = 0.002) and 0.67 (p = 0.011): AUC of PS was 0.70 (p = 0.117) and 0.55 (p = 0.548). These signatures can now be evaluated further in larger patient populations to assess their utility in a clinical setting.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number2443
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021