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Supplementary Material for: Preoperative Radiotherapy Leads to Significant Differences in the Plasma Protein Profile of Rectal Cancer Patients

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posted on 15.04.2020, 07:58 by Holm M., Joenväärä S., Saraswat M., Tohmola T., Ristimäki A., Renkonen R., Haglund C.
Introduction: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 10% of the global cancer burden. Rectal cancer accounts for around 30% of CRC cases, and patients with resectable rectal cancer are often given preoperative radiotherapy (PRT) to reduce the rate of local recurrence. The human plasma proteome is an exceptionally complex proteome and ideal to study due to its ability to reflect the presence of diseases such as cancer and the ease of obtaining blood samples. Previous proteomic studies involving rectal cancer patients have mostly focused on the identification of proteins involved in resistance to radiotherapy. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the overall effects of PRT on plasma protein expression in rectal cancer patients, as there is a lack of such studies. Methods: Here, we have used mass spectrometry and subsequent statistical analyses to analyze the plasma samples of 30 rectal cancer patients according to PRT status (positive or negative) and tumor stage (II or III). Results and Conclusions: We discovered 42 proteins whose levels differed significantly between stage II and III rectal cancer patients who did or did not receive PRT. This study shows that PRT, although localized to the pelvis, leads to measurable, tumor stage-specific changes in plasma protein expression. Future studies of plasma proteins should, when relevant, take this into account and be aware of the widespread effects that PRT has on the plasma proteome.

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