Finding proteins that hit the mark

Neuroendocrine Tumors

Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are rare heterogeneous tumors originating from hormone-secreting neuroendocrine tissue, including the gastro-intestinal and pulmonary systems, as well as from the adrenal, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, and other glands. There are many types of neuroendocrine tumors, which are typically characterized by hypersecretion. Alterations to the secretory pathways and patterns of hormone secretion can magnify illness and cause additional complications. Due to a lack of effective diagnostic methods, approximately 50% of all NET patients have either regional or distant metastases at diagnosis. Reliable histopathological methods to distinguish benign from malignant NET are also lacking.

Caprion has received funding from CQDM, Alsace BioValley, and PMPC to develop blood-based biomarkers for early detection of NET. Caprion’s discovery focused on changes in proteins associated with the secretory pathways. Candidate biomarkers were identified in cell lines with constitutive mutations that activate or deactivate three GTPases known to play key roles in the regulation of secretion as well as in resected tumor and adjacent normal tissue samples from patients with NET. Candidate biomarkers from the cell lines and tissue were then monitored in patient plasma samples. While initial assessment of these biomarkers was performed in pheochromocytomas, since aberrant secretion appears to be linked to NET development, these biomarkers may be applicable to other types of NET.


  • Early diagnosis of pheochromocytomas and other NET in plasma.
  • Accurate prognostic assessment


  • Earlier, more accurate diagnosis with improved performance over Chromogranin A
  • Likely to be applicable to other NET types due to common secretory pathway


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