Breast Reference Set Application: Richard Zangar-PNNL (2012)

Abbreviated Name
Breast Ref Set App: Zangar (2012)
Lead Investigator
Zangar, Richard (Rick) C.Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Coordinating Investigator
Feng, Ziding Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Involved Investigators


No abstract availalbe.


Overall, we believe we have identified a promising set of candidate biomarkers for the detection of breast cancer, and our preliminary data justify a validation study using the EDRN Breast Cancer Reference Set. This reference set would be especially valuable for these purposes because: 1. Like our samples, most of the samples for the EDRN Reference Set were collected at the time of biopsy. Thus, this sample set seems particularly well suited for validating our initial study. 2. Given our desire to look at different subtypes of breast cancer, we require a relatively large set of samples to make valid statistical inferences. That is, there are 5 different subtypes of breast cancer, which will effectively reduce the number of samples per group. In this regard, we have previously successfully analyzed a similar number of samples. That is, we previously analyzed nitrotyrosine levels in 24 proteins in 458 plasma samples, and each analysis was done on triplicate ELISA microarray chips [16]. Results from this study demonstrated that we were able to show significant differences between study groups with p values as low as 10-10. Thus, this prior study demonstrates that we can process hundreds of plasma samples and still obtain quality data that is useful for statistical analysis and biological inferences.

Analytic Method

We are proposing a two-stage analysis approach. This approach is based in part on communication with Dr. Margaret Pepe, and her suggestions. Notably, she suggested that in the first phase of the study we should analyze all of the samples except the ones from FCCC. The FCCC samples, which were collected at the time of screening mammography rather than biopsy (as were the rest of the samples), will be analyzed in the second phase, if justified by the first phase. We recognize this is a reasonable and prudent approach, but we would still prefer to simultaneously analyze all 832 plasma samples in the Reference Set, if those samples were made available to us.


Our immediate goal is to define a set of biomarkers (composed of circulating plasma proteins) that can be used to distinguish between true and false screens, primarily mammograms. Our preliminary data suggest that different breast cancer subtypes need to be considered when developing this panel. Our long-term goal is to develop a panel of biomarkers that can accurately detect the presence of breast cancer regardless of subtype.


  • No publications available at this time for this protocol.


Data Collections

  • No data collections available at this time for this protocol.
Start Date
Jun 1 2012
Estimated Finish Date
Sep 11 2014
Finish Date
Sep 11 2014
Protocol ID
Protocol Type
Reference Set
Field of Research
Collaborative Group
Breast and Gynecologic Cancers Research Group
Cancer Types
  • Malignant neoplasm of breast
Phased Status

Associated Forms