Integrated pipeline of rapid isolation and analysis of human plasma exosomes for cancer discrimination

Plasma exosomes have shown great potential for liquid biopsy in clinical cancer diagnosis. Fudan University researchers have developed an integrated strategy for isolating and analyzing exosomes from human plasma rapidly and then discriminating different cancers excellently based on deep learning fingerprints of plasma exosomes. Sequential size-exclusion chromatography (SSEC) was developed efficiently for separating exosomes from human plasma. SSEC isolated plasma exosomes, taking as less as 2 h for a single sample with high purity such that the discard rates of high-density lipoproteins and low/very low-density lipoproteins were 93 and 85%, respectively. Benefitting from the rapid and high-purity isolation, the contents encapsulated in exosomes, covered by plasma proteins, were well profiled by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MS). The researchers further analyzed 220 clinical samples, including 79 breast cancer patients, 57 pancreatic cancer patients, and 84 healthy controls. After MS data pre-processing and feature selection, the extracted MS feature peaks were utilized as inputs for constructing a multi-classifier artificial neural network (denoted as Exo-ANN) model. The optimized model avoided overfitting and performed well in both training cohorts and test cohorts. For the samples in the independent test cohort, it realized a diagnosed accuracy of 80.0% with an area under the curve of 0.91 for the whole group. These results suggest that our integrated pipeline may become a generic tool for liquid biopsy based on the analysis of plasma exosomes in clinics.

Zheng H, Zhao J, Wang X, Yan S, Chu H, Gao M, Zhang X. (2022) Integrated Pipeline of Rapid Isolation and Analysis of Human Plasma Exosomes for Cancer Discrimination Based on Deep Learning of MALDI-TOF MS Fingerprints. Anal Chem [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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