Delineation of disease phenotypes associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma by MALDI-IMS-MS analysis of serum N-linked glycans
N-Linked glycans, extracted from patient sera and healthy control individuals, are analyzed by Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) in combination with ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), mass spectrometry (MS) and pattern recognition methods. MALDI-IMS-MS data were collected in duplicate for 58 serum samples obtained from individuals diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus (BE, 14 patients), high-grade dysplasia (HGD, 7 patients), esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC, 20 patients) and disease-free control (NC, 17 individuals). A combined mobility distribution of 9 N-linked glycans is established for 90 MALDI-IMS-MS spectra (training set) and analyzed using a genetic algorithm for feature selection and classification. Two models for phenotype delineation are subsequently developed and as a result, the four phenotypes (BE, HGD, EAC and NC) are unequivocally differentiated. Next, the two models are tested against 26 blind measurements. Interestingly, these models allowed for the correct phenotype prediction of as many as 20 blinds. Although applied to a limited number of blind samples, this methodology appears promising as a means of discovering molecules from serum that may have capabilities as markers of disease.