Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Protein Microarray Analysis Uncovers a Tumor Antigen that Induces a Humoral Immune Response in Colon Cancer

Technology #2555

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Samir M. Hanash
Managed By
Stefan Koehler
Senior Licensing Specialist, Health Technologies 734-764-4290
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending


In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths. If the cancer is found and treated early before it spreads to lymph nodes or other organs, the survival rate is higher. However, less than 40% of colon cancers are discovered at an early stage. Colon cancer is diagnosed by fecal occult blood test, digital rectal examination, barium enema, or sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. The current available diagnostic techniques are limited in their ability to decisively identify and characterize tumors. Tumor-specific markers that can be used to detect early stage colorectal cancers (e.g., tumors too small to be detected by conventional techniques) are needed.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have utilized a proteomic-based approach to identify tumor antigens that induce antibody responses. They have uncovered UCH-L3 as a tumor antigen that exhibit high frequency of immunoreactivity with colon cancer sera. Therefore, UCH-L3 can be used as a colorectal cancer marker as well as a potential therapeutic target.

Applications and Advantages


  • Method to screen for novel cancer markers
  • Colorectal cancer diagnostic kits
  • Drug screen for colorectal cancer


  • A novel method allows identifying cancer-nl-marker and its associated autoantibody.
  • This invention provides a novel colorectal-nl-cancer marker and potential therapeutic target.