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Diagnostic and Prognostic Significance of Head-and-Neck Cancer Biomarkers Discovered by Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics and Their Translation into Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics
Prof. K. W. Michael SIU, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Windsor
Date : 18 Apr 2019 (Thursday)
Time : 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Venue : Cheung On Tak Lecture Theater (LT-E), HKUST
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Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics is a rapidly developing technology for both qualitative and quantitative analyses of proteins, and investigations into protein posttranslational modifications, subcellular localization, and interactions. Recent advancements in MS have made tremendous impact on the throughput and comprehensiveness of cancer proteomics, paving the way to unraveling deregulated cellular pathway networks in human malignancies. In turn, this knowledge is rapidly being translated into the discovery of novel potential cancer markers (PCMs) and targets for molecular therapeutics. Head-and-neck cancer is one of the most morbid human malignancies with an overall poor prognosis and severely compromised quality of life. Early detection and novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed for more effective disease management. The characterizations of protein profiles of head-and-neck cancers and non-malignant tissues, with unprecedented sensitivity and precision, are providing technology platforms for identification of novel PCMs and drug targets. Importantly, low-abundance proteins are being identified and characterized, not only from the tumor tissues, but also from bodily fluids (plasma, saliva, and urine) in a high-throughput and unbiased manner. This review is a critical appraisal of recent advances in MS-based proteomic technologies and platforms for facilitating the discovery of biomarkers and novel drug targets in head-and-neck cancer. A major challenge in the discovery and verification of these cancer biomarkers is the typically limited availability of well-characterized and adequately stored clinical samples in tumor and sera banks, collected using recommended procedures, and with detailed information on clinical, pathological parameters, and follow-up. Most biomarker discovery studies use limited number of clinical samples and verification of cancer markers in large number of samples is beyond the scope of a single laboratory. The validation of these potential markers in large sample cohorts in multicentric studies is needed for their translation from the bench to the bedside.


About the speaker

Prof. K. W. Michael Siu received his PhD in Chemistry from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1981. He then joined the National Research Council of Canada as a Research Associate and moved to York University as the Professor of Chemistry and NSERC/SCIEX (now AB SCIEX) Senior Industrial Research Chair in Analytical Mass Spectrometry. He was also named the Distinguished Research Professor by York University in 2007. In 2012, he relocated to the University of Windsor and was appointed the Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Vice-President, Research and Innovation there.

Prof. Siu’s research focuses range from fundamentals of mass spectrometry and ion chemistry, to next-generation mass spectrometry equipment, and to applications in proteomics and cancer biomarker discovery and verification. He has published over 250 scientific papers and 7 peer-reviewed book chapters, co-edited 2 books, and given over 450 presentations.

Prof. Siu received a number of prestigious awards, including the Gerhard Herzberg Award by the Canadian Society for Analytical Sciences and Spectroscopy (2004), the Fred P. Lossing Award by the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry (2005), the Maxxam Award by the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2006), and the Chinese Canadian Legend Award by the Asian Business Network Association (2012). He was also elected a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (1996) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2009).

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