Derivation of Molecular Targets of Cancer and Aging Using Cellular Immortalization-Specific Gene-Expression

Case ID:

This technology identifies molecular targets required for immortalization, which is a trait spontaneously acquired by cancer cells.  These targets may provide a potential means to intervene in the process of aging or cancer development.


Background & Unmet Need:

Recent efforts to develop improved methods for breast cancer detection, staging, and classification have focused on a promising array of so-called cancer "markers."  Cancer markers are typically proteins that are uniquely expressed (e.g. as a cell surface or secreted protein) by cancerous cells, or are expressed at measurably increased or decreased levels by cancerous cells compared to normal cells.  Other cancer markers can include specific DNA or RNA sequences marking deleterious genetic changes or alterations in the patterns or levels of gene expression associated with particular forms of cancer.  A large number and variety of breast cancer markers have been identified to date, and many of these have been shown to have important value for determining prognostic and/or treatment-related variables.  However, an important need exists for more widely applicable, non-invasive methods and materials to obtain biological samples for use in evaluating, diagnosing and managing cancer, particularly for screening early stage, nonpalpable tumors.  By detecting the molecular targets involved in immortalization, we can determine proper targets of cancer prior to the existence of a tumor.


Technology Description:

The present invention is a microarray for use in determining molecular targets of cancer and aging.  This diagnostic tool detects the presence of an array of markers used to determine gene expression changes related to cellular immortalization; the presence of the markers is indicative of a specific disease.  The invention also comprises of a computer program for analyzing the results of the microarrays.  An array of markers for diagnosing the presence of disease is performed by microarraying sera obtained from a patient to characterize molecular markers of a specific disease.  These genetic markers detect gene expression changes that are related to cellular immortalization and are useful for various diagnoses. 


Commercial Applications:

  • Diagnostic tool for cancer and age-related diseases


Stage of Development:



Competitive Advantages:

  • Non-invasive  screening method for early cancer diagnosis
  • Potential for screening early stage, nonpalpable tumors
  • Allows for determination of proper targets of cancer even prior to existence of a tumor


Intellectual Property Status:

Patent application filed


Related Publications or Citations of Work:



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joan Dunbar
Associate Vice President for Technology Commercialization
Wayne State University
(313) 577-5542
Sorin Draghici
Olga Studitskaia
Michael Tainsky
Drug Target