Fibronectin on circulating extracellular vesicles as a liquid biopsy to detect breast cancer

Pyong Gon Moon, Jeong Eun Lee, Young Eun Cho, Soo Jung Lee, Yee Soo Chae, Jin Hyang Jung, In San Kim, Ho Yong Park, Moon Chang Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted from cancer cells have potential for generating cancer biomarker signatures. Fibronectin (FN) was selected as a biomarker candidate, due to the presence in surface on EVs secreted from human breast cancer cell lines. A subsequent study used two types of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine the presence of these proteins in plasma samples from diseasefree individuals (n=70), patients with BC (n=240), BC patients after surgical resection (n=40), patients with benign breast tumor (n=55), and patients with non-cancerous diseases (thyroiditis, gastritis, hepatitis B, and rheumatoid arthritis; n=80). FN levels were significantly elevated (p < .0001) at all stages of BC, and returned to normal after tumor removal. The diagnostic accuracy for FN detection in extracellular vesicles (ELISA method 1) (area under the curve, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.86; sensitivity of 65.1% and specificity of 83.2%) were also better than those for FN detection in the plasma (ELISA method 2) (area under the curve, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.83; sensitivity of 69.2% and specificity of 73.3%) in BC. The diagnostic accuracy of plasma FN was similar in both the early-stage BC and all BC patients, as well as in the two sets. This liquid biopsy to detect FN on circulating EVs could be a promising method to detect early breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40189-40199
Number of pages11
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01007711 and 2014R1A5A2009242) and by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI12C0534), and by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (1420390). We thank the National Biobank of Korea-Kyungpook National University Hospital and Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital for providing plasma samples.


  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Extracellular vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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