The identification and characterization of breast cancer associated lipid(s) found in hair
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:58 authored by Dharmica April Haridatt Mistry
The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection, and so a more accurate screening test for women of all ages, which can detect the cancer at a cellular level, would be a significant advancement in preventing the disease. A correlation between the presence of breast cancer and a change in the synchrotron generated X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of hair from afflicted individuals has been reported in several studies by various groups and has shown to detect approximately 75% of breast cancer patients in blinded studies. To date, however, the molecular mechanism(s) leading to this alteration are largely unknown. This study determined that the alteration observed in an XRD pattern of hair from cancer patients is due to changes in breast-cancer associated lipid(s), in particular phospholipid species. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry identified and quantified lipids from biological samples including a breast cancer cell line and a control cell lines, and from hair and serum (from the same individual) from patients with breast cancer and controls. Significant differences were discovered between the two cell lines in the levels of some phosphatidylinositol, ceramide, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine species, however, we were unable to find consistent differences in the serum and hair lipid profiles of women with or without breast cancer. The changes observed in the cell culture supernatant study suggests that there may be lipid changes that are localised to the area of the tumour and not extendable to hair or serum unless a more specific method of extraction is devised. Further characterization of these phospholipids associated with breast cancer using more refined methodology could still be used to develop a novel sensitive and specific diagnostic screening test for breast cancer using serum.