Acute myeloid leukemia
Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the myeloid cells and “acute” means that it progresses aggressively and quickly and usually requires treatment to be started immediately. AML is characterized by rapid growth of abnormal cells that build up in the blood and bone marrow and interfere with normal blood cell production. If left untreated it can be fatal within weeks or months and it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system and testicles. AML makes up approximately 31% of all adult leukemia cases but about 1% of all cancer cases in total.
Figure 1. The volcano plot shows the adjusted p-value compared to the difference in average protein expression (NPX) for all proteins in AML compared to all other cancers. The lollipop plot shows the top 10 most important proteins resulting from the cancer prediction model with importance scores ranging between 0 to 100.
Pan-cancer protein panel
Three proteins were selected by the model to predict the immune cell related cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The membrane protein CD244 is the most important protein to identify patients with AML. Interestingly, this cell surface receptor on T-cells has not yet been implicated for diagnosis of AML, but has been suggested as a target for treatment (Jin L et al. (2006)).