Consultative Proteomics provides molecular-based medical consults to physicians worldwide who are treating patients with hard-to-treat or recurrent cancers.
One of our goals is to identify drugs that likely will be ineffective against the patient’s tumor, thus reducing treatment costs and lessening toxicity to the patient.
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What is Consultative Proteomics?
Consultative Proteomics is a unique medical consulting service offered by the expert physicians and scientists in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Consultative Proteomics specializes in recommending personalized cancer treatment based on the molecular profile of the key proteins in the patient’s tumor. In general, our approach is reserved for those patients who have failed conventional therapy and have recurrence or progression of their tumor. Consultative Proteomics can also suggest therapies for uncommon tumors without a standard treatment. We believe that tumors adapt over time to resist therapy, and that the tumor’s molecular profile suggests ways to control or stop that adaptation and the recurrence of the disease. Combined with our extensive research, expert analysis and optional genomic data, Consultative Proteomics reports guide the patient and physician to treatments supported by the underlying biological protein patterns in the tumor. Consultative Proteomics services differ from – and are complementary to – the genetic testing services that uncover gene defects that may lead to disease. Our approach bypasses the variations in genetic testing because we directly measure and analyze the proteins produced by the active genes in the tumor. The proteins expressed in the tumor are influenced by many factors. These include the environment and the body’s own adaptation to damaged genes and biological processes. Our morphoproteomics, biomedical analytics and integrative approach analyzes the patient’s unique molecular protein profile to support truly personalized medicine.
“Morphoproteomic AnalysisSM by Immunohistochemistry,” the primary method used by the Consultative Proteomics service, was developed by our Medical Director, Dr. Robert E. Brown, MD. It is a laboratory method where the tumor tissue is divided into sections and mounted on glass slides, one slide per protein analyzed. The protein analytes are selected based on their influence in the disease and treatment recommendations. Usually, 7 – 12 key proteins are chosen for focused Consultative Proteomics reports, with more than 30 protein molecules used in extended reports. Each slide is colored with a different chemical stain to highlight the activity of a specific protein molecule (also called “analyte”). Many of the rare stains used are customized in our on-site CLIA certified laboratory, by Ms. Pamela Johnston, our experienced Laboratory Technician. CLIA certification means that the laboratory test results, such as those from immunohistochemistry, may be used to guide patient care when interpreted by a physician. The stained tissue slides are then sent to Dr. Robert E. Brown MD or Dr. Jamie Buryanek MD. Each slide is examined individually under the microscope. The protein analyte activity is scored on a scale from 0 (no activity) to 3 (high activity) across tumor cell locations, including the nucleus, cytoplasm, and the surrounding plasma membrane. Certain proteins associated with the speed of tumor development and metastasis (spread) are also scored for cell cycle percentage because certain drugs only work when the tumor cells are actively cycling. The physician interprets the protein activity pattern, and the significance of the molecular profile for treatment options. Additional information may be gained from an optional Biomedical Analytics report, developed by Dr. Mary F. McGuire PhD, that describes the most likely molecular pathway networks associated with the patient’s molecular profile.
Why Choose Consultative Proteomics?
If you are a physician or a patient and would like more information on Consultative Proteomics services, please contact our Coordinator, Ms. Bheravi Patel, at 713-500-5309. E-mail: Bheravi.Patel [at] uth.tmc.edu . Note that Consultative Proteomics Reports are often covered by insurance and must be requested in collaboration with the patient’s physician.