The Externautics approach to cancer biomarker discovery stems from the unique opportunity to access two important libraries and two important panels of patients specimens:
- a library of about 3000 recombinant human proteins belonging to the family of surface-associated (including secreted) and hypothetical/unknown proteins,
- a library of polyclonal antibodies raised against each of the proteins belonging to the human protein library,
- a panel of hundreds of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks derived from surgically collected clinical samples from pedigreed cancer patients,
- a panel of thousands of serum samples from pedigreed human patients suffering from cancer.
The human proteins and antibody libraries are made available by one of the founders, PRIMM Srl, a Biotech Company located within the San Raffaele Scientific Park (Milan, Italy), offering high-tech services in the field of Molecular Biology and Immunology. The FFPE tissues and the sera from cancer patients are provided by IEO (European Oncology Institute), one of the major oncology centers at both Italian and European level.
The Yomics approach takes advantage of the fact that a “draft” of the entire human genome sequence is available and, most important, that accurate annotations of the sequences of each human chromosome are being released.
The preparation of tissue microarrays (TMA) is carried out starting from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks.