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Multiplexed immunofluorescence reveals protein expression alterations in breast cancer

JCI Journals

Breast cancers are highly variable and the specific characteristics of a tumor determine treatment response and patient outcome. Genetic sequencing has improved our understanding of the genetic changes that underlie cancer phenotypes; however, less is known about differences in protein expression among breast cancers. A new study in JCI Insight reports the use of a multiplexed immunostaining platform to examine the protein expression within breast tumors. Research teams led by Ingo Mellinghoff and Steven Larsen of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Fiona Ginty of GE Global Research evaluated expression of 27 proteins in single cells within paraffin-fixed sections from patients with untreated stage II/III breast cancer. The researchers identified 8 clusters of proteins that were co-expressed within cancer cells. A third of the breast tumors expressed only one of the 8 clusters, while the remaining tumors contained multiple protein co-expression clusters that occurred in discrete and interspersed patterns. These results indicate that multiplexed immunofluorescence is a useful technique to interrogate cell populations and signaling networks within a tumor to enhance our understanding of tumor biology.



Multiplexed immunofluorescence delineates proteomic cancer cell states associated with metabolism


Ingo Mellinghoff
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,

Steven Larson
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Fiona Ginty
GE Global Research Center

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JCI Insight is the newest publication from the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a nonprofit honor organization of physician-scientists. JCI Insight is dedicated to publishing a range of translational biomedical research with an emphasis on rigorous experimental methods and data reporting. All articles published in JCI Insight are freely available at the time of publication. For more information about JCI Insight and all of the latest articles go to

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